Home Campus This is what the Basic Needs OHIO Initiative is doing to help Ohio U students

This is what the Basic Needs OHIO Initiative is doing to help Ohio U students

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Baker University Center

The OHIO Basic Needs Initiative, which was created last month, is working toward bringing stability to students at Ohio U.

Since it started in early November, the Basic Needs OHIO Initiative has begun to work toward its goals. The initiative seeks to assist students in meeting their financial, housing and food needs while they are at Ohio University.

The initiative has since split into three groups that are each responsible for a different aspect of the initiative.

One of the groups is dedicated to finding how severe issues of economic insecurity are in local communities. A second group is looking at partnerships and collaborations that could be formed to work together to address such insecurities. The final group is tasked with finding sources of external funding for the initiative.

Dr. Elizabeth Sayrs, Dean of the University College and one of the initiative’s leaders, said the impact is already being seen.

Increasing awareness of students impacted by hunger and housing insecurity both at OHIO and nationally, resulted in different groups from across campus recognizing a need for coordination between programs to ensure effective use of resources, to seek external funding sources, and ensure that student needs are being met,” Sayrs said in an email.

In addition to the Basic Needs OHIO Initiative, there are a number of other initiatives and programs that work with Basic Needs OHIO.

The Baker Food Pantry, which was created in April 2017, continues to collect and distribute food for those who need it, free of cost. Students can also choose to stay in select residence halls over winter break for the costs of $30 per night, $125 per week or $400 per month if they have shelter insecurity back home.

Moving forward, Sarys described the initiative’s main goal as ensuring “that no Bobcat is ever prevented from reaching their academic potential due to a lack of basic needs such as food, shelter, or finances.”

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