REGINA MONTOYA, A senior at California State University, Sacramento, is managing a busy schedule this semester: two internships and a full course load. But she used to face a very different challenge: when the dorms were closed, she was homeless.
Montoya grew up shuttling between different relatives and a foster family. Moving constantly was hard, especially because she didn’t know long she would be living in one place. But she believed that going to college would make her living situation more stable, so she enrolled in a school in the Bay area.
“At my first year at university, it was hard because I never could shake the survival mode tactics. At holidays I couldn’t stay at the dorms, so I had to plan out who was I going to stay with, who was going to take me in and how many days and weeks can I stay at this person’s house,” says Montoya, 26. Constant worrying about her living situation and personal mental health issues were so stressful that she “flunked” out her freshman year, she says.