San Jose community college student Angelica Lopez is juggling a full-time class load and three jobs. But the most stressful part of her life is figuring out where to park the car that doubles as her home.
Every day she weighs her options: park overnight in a good neighborhood and risk having the cops called on her? Or park in a neighborhood where she worries about getting robbed or raped?
A bill meant to provide a temporary solution for students like Lopez passed its first legislative hurdle on Tuesday when it advanced from the Assembly Higher Education Committee to the chamber's appropriations committee. The bill, AB 302, would require community colleges to grant overnight access to campus parking facilities.
Before the vote, members of the Assembly committee heard from homeless students and their allies who voiced their support, but both legislators and community college representatives also raised concerns over costs and logistics.
Community college students make up nearly two-thirds of California’s undergraduates, and a recent survey found almost 1 in 5 have been homeless in the last year. Most have jobs.