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Homeless D.C. College Students Find Holiday Respite

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Thanks to the generous offers of WAMU listeners, college students like Darelle Doleman, a junior at Trinity Washington University, will have a place to stay over the holidays.
Kavitha Cardoza
Thanks to the generous offers of WAMU listeners, college students like Darelle Doleman, a junior at Trinity Washington University, will have a place to stay over the holidays.

Nearly two dozen homeless college students from the District will be made to feel welcome over the holidays, and it's all thanks to generous WAMU listeners.

The D.C. College Success Foundation serves 900 low-income D.C. students. On any given holiday, a number of them are homeless, says Monica Gray, the organization's director.

"As we head into the holidays, we are concerned because we have students coming from more than 200 colleges and universities across the country, and many of them have very fragile home situations and quite a few of them are homeless," says Gray.

WAMU 88.5 reported on the plight of homeless college students earlyier this week, the response from listeners has been overwhelming, Gray says. Her foundation received more than one hundred emails and phone calls, some from as far away as West Virginia.

"People are offering to have students come to their homes for the holidays and, as I said, drive from pretty far distance to bring students home," says Gray.

Before the story aired, the foundation was just hoping to outfit these students with some basic supplies to get through the holidays. but now the priority has changed. They're now working diligently to match students with the dozens of families who have offered their homes, Gray says.

"For a young person who is struggling to stay in college and worry that leaving their dorm means leaving safety and security and what they know to be home, it's phenomenal," says Gray. "Giving them a safe place to stay for the holidays, to me, is the greatest these generous people could give these young folks."

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