HEROES - Higher Education Resources and Opportunities for Salukis in Need

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Going to college can be a challenging experience for students. In an effort to provide resources and assist students who are experiencing housing and financial insecurities, Southern Illinois University is providing resources to students who qualify as "homeless" or as a "student in care." If a student is couch-surfing, living out of their car, temporarily living with a friend, or any other type of housing insecurity, they can qualify for university assistance.

If an undergraduate, graduate, or international student answers "yes" to any of the below, they can qualify for this assistance. If you would like to learn more about your options or verify that you meet one of the criteria, please submit a Saluki Cares report.

  • Do you live in a shelter, motel, vehicle, or campground?
  • Do you live in any inadequate or substandard spaces, such as on the street or in an abandoned building?
  • Are you temporarily living with someone, friend or otherwise, because you have nowhere else to stay?
  • Is your housing unit over capacity in order to accommodate everyone's housing needs? (ex. 2-bedroom apartment housing 6 people)
  • Is your current housing situation unsafe for your physical or mental health?
  • Do you currently live in the residence halls, but you have nowhere to stay when they close for breaks or the end of the semester?
  • Are you supporting yourself, but on the verge of losing your housing?
  • Is your parent (or legal guardian) unable to or refusing to assist with housing or food needs?

In addition to housing resources, SIU offers various resources for mental and physical health, financial aid, educational and learning support, safety, and involvement on campus. For a full list of available on-campus resources, click here.

If a student falls under one of the following definitions of homelessness or students in care and would like to learn more about their options, please submit a Saluki Cares report.

An individual enrolled at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is considered homeless or housing insecure if they identify with any of the following:

  • lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence*
  • is at imminent risk of lacking a fixed, regular, adequate nighttime residence*
  • parent or legal guardian is unable to provide shelter and care
  • parent or legal guardian is unwilling to provide shelter and care

*"fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence" does not include on-campus housing at SIU during the semester. This addresses housing options when SIU is not in academic session or when the individual is not on campus.

An individual enrolled at SIU is considered to be a "student in care" if they were at any point (or are) under the care and legal custody of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). This includes:

  • youth for whom DCFS has court-ordered responsibility
  • youth who aged out of care at age 18 or older
  • youth formerly under care who have been adopted and were the subject of an adoption assistance agreement
  • youth formerly under care who have been placed in private guardianship and were the subject of a subsidized guardianship agreement

If a student feels they may qualify and would like to learn more, please submit a Saluki Cares report.

"Homeless Student" definition

"Student experiencing homelessness" or "homeless student" means an individual enrolled in an institution who lacks or is at imminent risk of lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence or whose parent or legal guardian is unable or unwilling to provide shelter and care and includes a homeless individual as defined under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. For the purposes of this definition, the term "fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence" does not include residence in an institution of higher education's on-campus housing. 
(Source: P.A. 102-83, eff. 8-1-22.)

Click here to view the full Higher Education Housing and Opportunities Act.

"Student in Care" definition

"Student in care" means any person, regardless of age, who is or was under the care and legal custody of the Department of Children and Family Services, including youth for whom the Department has court-ordered legal responsibility, youth who aged out of care at age 18 or older, or youth formerly under care who have been adopted and were the subject of an adoption assistance agreement or who have been placed in private guardianship and were the subject of a subsidized guardianship agreement.
(Source: P.A. 102-83, eff. 8-1-22.)

Click here to view the full Higher Education Housing and Opportunities Act.

McKinney-Vento "Homeless" definition

Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (per Title IX, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act) defines "homeless" as follows:

The term "homeless children and youths"--

  1. means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence (within the meaning of section 103(a)(1)); and
  2. includes--
    1. children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals;* 
    2. children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings (within the meaning of section 103(a)(2)(C)); 
    3. children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and 
    4. migratory children (as such term is defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).

Click here to view the full text of the MicKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Act.