Volunteers and residents of a new shelter for homeless students spent their first night getting to know each other, having dinner and watching TV.
Bruin Shelter, one of the country’s first student-run homeless shelters for students, officially opened its doors last week. The shelter will house nine UCLA and Santa Monica College students ages 18 to 24 for six months, said Luke Shaw, Bruin Shelter co-president and co-founder.
Students were selected throughout the year based on perceived need and compatibility, he said.Residents can receive temporary housing, food, career counseling and resources to help them find permanent housing, said Rebecca Sarvady, Bruin Shelter media director and a third-year English student. Sarvady is also a former Daily Bruin staffer.
Bruin Shelter executive director and UCLA alumnus Louis Tse came up with the idea in early 2015. Tse began living in his car to save money so that he could launch the shelter. He now works at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Tse and Shaw started the shelter to address homelessness among college students. There are approximately 58,000 homeless college students in the United States.