Homeless college student finds financial help, housing, and hope. - United Way Bay Area
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Homeless college student finds financial help, housing, and hope.

May 25, 2018

Before SparkPoint, Sheyanne struggled in transitional housing, rehab, and college.


Like many of her peers, Sheyanne had her fair share of financial problems while attending college. Unlike most of her peers, Sheyenne had to balance attending her classes with her treatment at a drug rehabilitation center, all while living in transitional housing. She says of this time, “I wanted to get out of that situation… I wanted to be stable on my own.”

Financial aid and the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) enabled Sheyanne to attend college, but still she struggled to make ends meet. Fortunately Sheyanne heard about SparkPoint’s food pantry on campus, which is where she learned about the program’s financial coaching services.

A cornerstone of United Way Bay Area’s poverty-fighting efforts, SparkPoint provides low-income area residents with free, one-on-one financial and career coaching and education to help them build brighter futures for themselves and their families. These one-stop centers are located throughout the Bay Area, often on college campuses like Sheyanne’s.

Working with her SparkPoint coach, Sheyanne learned to budget her money and manage her expenses, allowing her to save the funds necessary to move out on her own.

Now in her own living space, Sheyanne feels more settled both at school and home. “Longterm I want to go into nursing, so I’m probably on a long educational venture,” she laughs. Focused on this goal, and armed with the financial education and skills to keep her on track, Sheyanne is on her way to financial stability, independence, and greater opportunity.