Riverside City College was among 14 community colleges throughout California selected to receive seven-figure grants intended to help students at risk of becoming homeless, or who are already without shelter, it was announced Wednesday.

The California Community College Chancellor’s Office will distribute $2.1 million to RCC over the next three years under the “College Homeless & Housing Insecure Pilot Project,” campus officials said.

“The pilot program will build upon existing infrastructure and resources and local housing services in order to implement a sustainable program for homeless and housing insecure students,” according to an RCC statement.

Officials said part of the impetus for awarding RCC the three-year grant stemmed from a RealCollege survey that revealed almost half of the 2,100 enrollees who responded to questionnaires last year had experienced “food insecurity.”

“Fifty-three percent experienced housing insecurity in the past year, and 16% were homeless in the same time frame,” according to the campus.

Criteria for assigning grants was also based on the availability of low-income housing in relatively close proximity to the college, the number of students on Pell grants, the number recently out of foster care and the number of veterans enrolled, officials said.

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