ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ground Zero

Updated on October 8, 2017

Part 1

Ground Zero: part 1

Christa Canady

This is how it begins…

You’re a low income student living off of loans and a minimum wage job. You come from an overpopulated urban city and you are literally struggling to get by. You realize you can’t afford to live off campus so you move all your belongings to your best friend’s garage. One month you’re trying to commute to work with no money and little resources and after working 8-10 hour days you return to crash in your friends’ bed. The next month, after spending a slow day at work writing poetry all day you end up in the mall parking lot practically begging your boss for your job back after he claims you’ve broken “company policy;” because without that 8 hours a day, you have nothing. And that’s what I had when I went back to my best friends’ home; packed a bag, left a note and started running.

And slowly at first, but full speed once I found my pace, I kept running. And I continued to run from place to place searching for something both within myself and outside as well in the midst of my nothingness. Tired and ready to give up living at all; I ran up until I found that there was nowhere else to run to. I remember the first time I asked myself where exactly I was going to sleep for the night. Searching for security and comfort in a town I felt the most myself in, I hiked in the pitch black through the world's largest remaining old growth coastal redwood forest that wet spring of 2014; my dog and my pack attached to me, I realized what I considered the end what some call ground zero… What society calls homelessness.

There has been a definite increase in the number of homeless students across the country. Michelle Asha-Cooper, of the Institute for higher education policy in Washington D.C. states; “What we're hearing from the college presidents and leadership [is] that more and more students are struggling," she continues, “Some are taking out pretty large amounts of student loans to finance their education as well as their living costs. Some are enrolling part-time, some are even dropping out."

This Spring in Sacramento, CA assembly member Gibson and assembly member Bloom have authored two bills that could change the pace of homeless youth attending higher education. AB 1228 (Gibson) “would give first priority housing for homeless students on college campuses, and would require colleges to develop a plan to ensure that current and former foster and homeless youth can access housing resources as needed during and between academic terms and campus breaks.” AB 801 would give homeless youth and foster youth priority in choosing their classes. When asked, what are the steps necessary to end youth homelessness, Director Shahera Hyatt; of the California homeless youth project states; “ I think that in order to curb youth homelessness, we need a concerted effort at multiple levels: we need community members to have compassion for our homeless neighbors, we need service providers to give the best of care to people who are experiencing homelessness, we need policymakers to take responsibility and fund programs that serve this community, and remove barriers to housing, education, and employment for people who don't have a safe, stable place to stay.”

What we need to realize through this time of high unemployment rates and tuition increases throughout both the state and country is that people trying to further their education are practically gambling with their chance to keep shelter or not. At the cost of going to school, getting an education and trying to better your chances at attaining a career in this society I ask; what is worth our time? What is worth our time when every day you have another college student entering ground zero?

© 2017 Christa Canady


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)