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What are Homelessness and Housing Insecurity?

Homelessness means that a person is without a place to live, often residing in a shelter, an automobile, an abandoned building, or outside. Housing insecure can mean a person is unable to pay rent or utilities or needs to move frequently.

Homelessness and housing insecurity could be ongoing for many years or a short-term challenge brought on by any number of circumstances. 

If you are facing one of these challenges, there are a variety of resources available. Penn State cares and staff are here to support you. If you have questions about a resource below, students at every campus can call or email Student Care and Advocacy to learn more and access support. 

What should I do if I’m experiencing housing insecurity? 

Penn State staff are here to support you. Whether you live on campus and need housing during a semester break, unexpectedly or temporarily no longer have a place to stay off campus, or are leaving an unsafe living situation, there are options available.  

If you find yourself in need of housing:  

  • In an emergency, call 911 or Penn State Police at your campus 

  • Get yourself somewhere safe. Stay with a friend, if possible. 

  • Use the resources below to find assistance.  

Community Resources for students at all campuses

Penn State Resources  for students at all campuses

Resources by Campus

University Park

Penn State Resources

Off-campus student support: Provides resources and support for off-campus students at University Park. 

Gender Equity Center: Can help students who may be experiencing relationship violence. 

Community Resources

Homeless Shelters in State College: A directory of community homeless shelters. 

Centre Safe: Community resources and 24-hour hotline for anyone who may be experiencing relationship violence. 

Centre County Rental Assistance: The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) was created to assist renters in Centre County with rent and utilities. Penn State students are encouraged to apply. Visit the Centre County Government website for more information.  

Commonwealth Campuses

Additional resources coming soon. Please visit the "Resources for students at all campuses" above. 

World Campus

World Campus students who are near a Penn State Commonwealth Campus may be able to access some of the resources listed in the Commonwealth Campus Resources section. 

The organizations listed below provide resources by location for students living anywhere in the United States.