Please download the following letter about the Wellness Center’s Emergency Go Bags:

Dear Colleagues:

The Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of LGBTQ People and Allies, in collaboration with the Wellness Center, has begun an initiative aimed at addressing the issue of students experiencing housing instability and homelessness.  This has become the focus of attention around the country and one estimate says that 56,000 of youth experiencing housing instability are college students. We know that some of these students are at UIC. These students may have long- or short-term needs and may need emergency help or support in finding specific resources.

Faculty and staff who deal directly with students  say that many don’t ask for help until their situation is dire. In those moments, it can be challenging to know what to do or how to help. In addition to offering students a list of resources at UIC and in the Chicago-area (enclosed), we recommend utilizing the Wellness Center’s “Emergency Go Bags.” Emergency Go Bags were created to provide UIC students with a set of supplies to help them meet their immediate needs while experiencing homelessness or housing instability. The bags are designed for students in emergency situations and who have no access to their possessions or are staying in a shelter or other non-traditional space. They contain clothing, toiletries, and other necessities that are compact and easy to transport. The process for helping students through this project is simple: If a student comes to you in need of help, contact the Wellness Center and an Emergency Go Bag will be delivered to your office or you can pick the bag up at the Center.

One of our goals at UIC is to ensure that all of our students feel valued and receive the support they need to thrive personally and academically, especially when they may be experiencing difficulties such as housing instability. While much work needs to be done to make sure that no students live with uncertain housing situations, there are concrete things we can do as faculty and staff that can help significantly in the short term. Emergency Go Bags are one of those things. Please contact the Wellness Center at 312-413-2120 or wellness@uic.edu if and when you encounter a student in need of a Go Bag. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Sincerely,

Michelle Manno, Co-Chair CCSLGBTQPA

Laura Stempel, Assistant Vice Provost, Office of Planning & Programs

Carol Peterson, Director of the Wellness Center