Addressing the root causes of food and housing insecurity among college students
An asset-based approach
Keywords:Community-Based Participatory Research, Food Insecurity, Housing Insecurity, Basic Needs, Asset Mapping, College Students, Higher Education
Universities have implemented a range of initiatives to address food and housing insecurity, but few studies have examined how campus communities are engaging around these issues. This article explores how North Carolina State University conducted asset-mapping workshops, a community-based participatory research (CBPR) method, to mobilize the campus community and identify solutions to address the root causes of food insecurity and other forms of basic needs insecurity among students. Workshop participants identified exemplary resources focused on addressing students’ immediate needs (e.g., campus food pantries, a student emergency fund). At the same time, they stated that basic needs insecurity is tied to longer-term, systemic issues like wage inequality and a lack of affordable housing. Participants also noted that historically marginalized students (e.g., LGBTQ+, low-income, first-generation college) often experience food and housing insecurity in complex ways requiring targeted solutions. Our results suggest that CBPR methods like asset mapping offer an approach that, when done well, can center the voices and experiences of diverse campus populations to identify and address the complex structural and systemic processes that shape students’ experiences of food and housing insecurity.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Rebecca Shisler, Emilia Cordero Oceguera, Annie Hardison-Moody, Sarah Bowen
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