KSU offers housing for homeless students

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Students will be going back to school at Kennesaw State University in less than a week and while many are already moving into their campus housing, others have no place to live.

University officials said there are dozens of students enrolled in the university who are homeless. Wednesday, the university opened the first of its kind, emergency housing for homeless students.

One student, a senior, said he's been living out of his car since May. His Chevy Prism is crammed with his clothes and books. He admits it's hard.

“Professors don't like when I fall asleep in class, but I can't really say 'sorry, I didn't really have a place to do my homework' or anything like that,” he said.

Nikki Hamel told FOX 5 she understands.She said she's been homeless since she was in high school.  

Hamel, who's majoring in music theory and wants to go into sound design and audio engineering, said she didn't want that to stop her from following her dream of going to college. With the help of her homeless liaison in her school district, she got into KSU. She relies on grants and scholarships to get her through school, but said grants only go so far.

“One of the hardest parts of being homeless is you don't want to ask anyone for help because you're afraid someone is gong to judge you,” Hamel said.

KSU is reaching out to help the dozens of students who have no place to live. They've set up a dedicated apartment for homeless students to use in an emergency. It's the brain child of Marcy Stidum with the CARE Center. She said it's the first of its kind in the state and possibly the nation.

“I can't go home on a weekend knowing I have to tell a student, let me teach you how to sleep in your car or find someone's couch,” Stidum said.

Stidum said students can stay in the apartment for up to two weeks while they help them find more permanent housing. She said they want to help students, like Stacy, who said she's been homeless since she aged out of the foster care system.

Stacy said despite all she's been through, she will achieve her goal of getting a college education.

“Being in foster care you never have anything, and you feel like you're a burden on other people, I don't want to be a burden to other people. I just want to have a positive future and a great life,” said Stacy.

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