Beginning in Spring 2020, La Salle University students have a way to access a multitude of services and resources provided at the state and federal levels.
La Salle received a $50,000 grant that will finance access to the Single Stop Program. A national organization founded in Philadelphia, Single Stop provides students with free social services and financial resources, like tax preparation, healthcare and childcare enrollment, financial literacy programs, benefits screenings, and legal counseling.
Single Stop’s aim is to help students overcome economic barriers to their education by providing access to benefits, resources, and services students need in order to stay on the path toward graduation.
La Salle is the first four-year college or university in Philadelphia to partner with Single Stop, and is believed to be the nation’s first private four-year college or university to align with the program.
“It’s not uncommon for college students to experience food, housing, or other insecurities. What we’re seeing is that this is not a problem specific to one college or university; it’s actually a higher education problem,” said Bro. Bob Kinzler, FSC, Assistant Vice President of University Ministry, Service, and Support (UMASS). “We’re proud to parner with a program like Single Stop, which is helping students finish college and earn degrees that have the ability to transform the lives of not only those students, but also those in their families and those around them.”
Nationally, college students are struggling to meet basic needs. At La Salle, more than 300 students—roughly 6 percent of the student population—participated in a forthcoming study by Temple University’s Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. Of the students who completed the survey, 35 percent faced food insecurity over the previous month, 29 percent dealt with housing insecurity in the last 12 months, and 11 percent experienced homelessness.
Single Stop provides students with a routine questionnaire that will help them learn the state- and federally funded programs for which they are eligible. These programs include Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Kinzler said the average Single Stop student receives access to more than $3,000 in federally or locally funded programs.
La Salle students interested in leveraging their access to Single Stop are encouraged to contact the UMASS office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We may hear of students in need, or have a student approach us asking for help,” Kinzler said. “Now, we have the chance to deal with that need and point them toward the programs for which they are eligible.”
—Christopher A. Vito