American hip-hop artist, Big Sean, has set an example for others in the industry by donating $25,000 (£17,065) to help tackle the problem of student homelessness in his hometown.
The singer, real name Sean Anderson, made the substantial donation to Wayne State University (WSU) in Detroit, Michigan through his nonprofit, the Sean Anderson Foundation.
As part of his commitment to improve the quality of life of young people, the funds will be used to provide short-term support to WSU students experiencing difficult and challenging housing situations.
The Detroit Metro Times also reports the money will allow for students to buy necessities in order to pass their degrees, including textbooks and school supplies, as well as on-campus meals, transportation, and child care.
The money will go into WSU’s Helping Individuals Go Higher (High) initiative which was founded in 2013 by Wayne State’s First Lady, Jacqueline Wilson, after she met a WSU student who had experienced homelessness while attending school.
The singer’s foundation said reports indicate student homelessness is a nationwide issue. According to The Washington Post, the number of homeless students in the US has doubled since before the recession, reaching a record national total of 1.36 million in the 2013/2014 school year, according to recent data.
Wilson’s programme, however, seeks to offers a strategic response to the issue at Wayne State, with students in High receiving short-term assistance with the goal of returning them to long-term stability, eventually helping them complete their degree, ultimately boosting graduation rates at the institution.
Closer to home, in the UK, student homelessness is also a worrying and growing issue. In its most recent annual Young and Homeless report, Homeless Link described: “Nearly half of people living in homeless accommodation services are aged between 16 and 24 and without adequate support or early intervention, homelessness can go on to impact education, employment, health and wellbeing which is more likely to lead to homelessness in older age.”