My name is Katarzyna Sliwinska. During Winter and Spring of 2014 I interned with Anna Schlecht at the City of Olympia. As part of the Annual Homeless Census Report, I gathered and analyzed new data pertaining to homelessness at The Evergreen State College. Through this project I wanted to achieve a greater awareness of homelessness in higher education, involve the college in the issue, set groundwork for future actions related to helping students that are struggling with basic needs, and create a board/forum for discussion of homelessness and a contact point for students seeking help.
Having an easily accessible place on campus where students in need can find help and support in their struggles is very important to me. I have noticed that Evergreen provides some great facilities and services for students but at the same time there’s a lack of communication between these services. Therefore, I also hoped to build a stronger support network among the campus services.
The survey was conducted during the month of February, 2014. The questions for the survey were based on the County’s Homeless Census questionnaire, with the addition of a paragraph response prompt. To promote this survey across campus, I published an article in the Cooper Point Journal, presented the project to Evergreen programs, spoke during a Parallel University show on KAOS radio, and organized interest meetings. The survey was released online and in paper form at a poll booth on campus. These efforts yielded 198 responses.