Faculty and Staff

Higher education offers one of the surest pathways out of poverty and homelessness. Students experiencing homelessness often face challenges in reaching college graduation, including:

  • continued lack of support from a helpful, caring adult;
  • struggles with mental health issues related to the distress caused by homelessness and/or a history of physical, sexual, or mental abuse;
  • insufficient support with developing solid study skills, securing stable housing and reliable transportation, and deciding on a college major or potential career path; and
  • difficulty balancing the demands of schoolwork, the need to work to pay bills, and other responsibilities.
    (Emerson, Duffield, Salazar, & Unrau, 2012)

Helping Students in Need

If you suspect a student is in need, contact the Dean of Students office at 540-831-6297 or email dos-web@radford.edu. The Dean of Students Office is the Single Point of Contact for students experiencing homelessness, food insecurity or those that are at-risk. Encourage students to seek assistance.  All correspondence with HEHROS is confidential.

Common Signs of Homelessness

According to the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) identification of students in homeless situations is the first step to ensuring that these students receive the services to which they are entitled and support for succeeding in school.

The following are common signs of youth homelessness. This list offers general guidance. However stereotypes of homelessness do not match the reality of these students’ circumstances. The circumstances surrounding each student’s homelessness will be unique.

Statements by Students

  • "I’ve been moving around a lot."
  • "I'm staying with friends for a while."
  • "I'm going through a difficult time."

Personal Concerns

  • Unmet medical and dental needs
  • Chronic hunger and fatigue
  • Inconsistent grooming or poor hygiene
  • Wearing the same clothes repeatedly
  • Strained or severed relationship(s) with parent(s)
  • Lack of supportive relationship(s) with caring, responsible adult(s)

Social and Behavioral Concerns

  • Frequent absences from class
  • A marked change in behavior
  • Resistance to forming relationships with professors and classmates

Documentation Challenges

  • Lack of supplies needed to complete class assignments
  • Lack of records normally needed for school enrollment
  • Difficulty completing the FAFSA
  • Inability to get a parent or guardian signature
  • Lack of immunization or health records