Meeting Basic Needs
“Minneapolis College students are facing challenges daily that cause barriers to their academic journey,” said Becky Nordin, Dean of Students and TRIO Director. “Student Support Services is a place where we connect our currently enrolled students with basic needs, supportive community networks, resources, and opportunities to ease obstacles interfering with their academic success."
During January 2021 and November 2022, the food pantry within Student Support Services distributed more than 104,000 pounds of non-perishable food and basic needs items to hundreds of students in need.
The College is currently serving the highest number of students since opening the pantry in 2014. Without additional financial support, after May 2023 when current grant funding runs out, the pantry will be unable to provide the needed amount of culturally responsive food for children and adults, hygiene and household products, or cater to special dietary needs of its diverse student body. These unmet needs put students at risk of dropping out.
Housing insecurities also contribute to student stress. To that end, Minneapolis College Hosts two Americorps Heading Home Navigators, Renea Maxfield and Bernadine Stewart. Together, they work toward helping students find safe and stable housing. The housing navigators are placed at a service site to support individuals experiencing homelessness.
The navigator establishes a relationship with each student on their caseload and works with that individual to assess their unique needs, set goals, and sit alongside them to help them navigate resources in order that they can overcome barriers and achieve their goals. Since September 2022, Renea and Bernadine have supported more than 97 students.
“Minneapolis College values itself on anchoring all of its decisions around its students,” said Nordin, who points to the College’s values of inclusion, community, excellence, integrity and being student-centered. “To live within these values, we recognize the importance of seeing our students and supporting them in a holistic way to encourage their success.”