Homelessness and Housing Insecurity Assistance

We Care

The Office of Student Affairs seeks to provide aid to our students that are experiencing homelessness or housing instability. If you lack or are at imminent risk of lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence OR your parent or legal guardian is unable or unwilling to provide shelter and care, we want to help.  Did you have a McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance liaison in high school? Were or are you a student-in-care as in the care and legal custody of the Department of Children and Family Services? Maybe you were under care who have been adopted and were the subject of an adoption assistance agreement or who have been placed in private guardianship and were the subject of a subsidized guardianship agreement?  The liaison is here to help you.

Your HOUSE Liaison

To provide assistance to students experiencing homelessness, the State of Illinois Public Act 102-0083 requires each institution of higher education to designate at least one staff member to serve as a liaison to assist homeless students enrolled at the institution.

McKendree’s HOUSE Liaison is Calvin R. Wertman, the Director of Residence Life

Office Location: Clark Hall 109

Phone: (618) 537-6912

Email: crwertman@mckendree.edu

Schedule an Appointment:  Microsoft Bookings

It is the HOUSE Liaison’s role to work with campus partners to offer assistance and resources to any homeless student or student in care enrolled at the institution. The liaison strives to:

  • understand provisions pertaining to the financial aid eligibility of homeless students,

  • identify services and resources that are available to and appropriate for a homeless student,

  • act as an intermediary between a homeless student or student in care and the office of financial aid, student support services, campus housing services, and

  • connect a homeless student or student in care to a local continuum of care program.

Taking Those First Steps

Make an appointment with the HOUSE Liaison. During this meeting, you and the liaison will:

1. Review what the Housing and Opportunities that are Useful for Students’ Excellence (HOUSE) law provides you as a student in Illinois.

2. Discuss if you should complete the Application for Unaccompanied & Homeless Youth with the Office of Financial Aid.

3. Talk about getting on the local Continuum of Care for St. Clair County.

4. Determine what additional services or resources you may need.

5. Please know that we value your privacy and comfort.  You will not be asked to share specific details about the events that lead to you unstable housing situation.  Also, the liaison will not share any information with other on-campus faculty or staff unless the student gives permission or the liaison is concerned that the student’s safety is at risk.


Financial Aid & Assistance

Remember, the HOUSE liaison is here to assist you in applying for and receiving federal and state financial aid.

  • Questions and Answers: Federal Student Aid and Homeless Youth – Have questions about completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. Look here first.

  • Application for Unaccompanied & Homeless Youth – If you reported on your FAFSA either that you are an unaccompanied youth who is homeless or are an unaccompanied youth providing for your own living expenses who is at risk of being homeless, please complete and submit this form with the required documentation to the Office of Financial Aid to determine your eligibility for financial aid.

  • Financial Aid for Foster Youth in Illinois - Youth who have experienced foster care can often cover all their costs for a college degree - tuition, fees, room, and board.  
  • Swift Student - Swift Student will help you write a financial aid appeal letter - for free.

  • Filing your Taxes – Get the simple steps to help you file your taxes for free and maximize your tax refund.

  • National Scholarships - The National Center for Homeless Education provide young people experiencing homelessness and people who support them with ready access to scholarship information.

  • Illinois Scholarships - Millions of scholarships are available to students studying in the United States. With the help of Scholarships.com, finding these scholarships is not a problem.

  • SchoolHouse Connection - The only national scholarship program specifically service youth that have experienced homelessness.


  • Bearcat Pantry - A collaborative effort among the Student Affairs Department, Chaplain's Office, and various faculty, staff, administration, alumni, and area churches who seek to eliminate barriers and challenges of food insecurity and hunger.

  • Ames Meal Swipes – A partnership between Dining Services has provided Dr. Rev. Beverly Wilkes-Null (blwilkes-null@mckendree.edu) with a cache of meals that she can provide to students in need.

  • Bogey’s Career Closet - a program established by Career Services and the School of Business that allows currently enrolled McKendree University students to select business attire.


Students that become homeless after enrolling in college often have no experience applying for and securing social services. Below you’ll find a list of the most basic and necessary resources available.

  • St. Clair County Homeless Assistance - The Community Development Group of the St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department is responsible for administering several grant programs including those related to capital improvements, new home construction, homebuyer assistance and housing rehabilitation.

    • Christina Anderson is St. Clair County IGD’s CDBG Coordinator
      Address: 19 Public Square, Suite 200, Belleville, IL  62220
      Phone: 618-825-3218; Email: canderson@co.st-clair.il.us

  • SNAP - The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to support low-income individuals to purchase healthy foods. Further details about the program, eligibility requirements and how to apply are given on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service website.

  • Medicaid and CHIP - Between Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), eligible, unaccompanied homeless youth can receive health insurance and medical attention once enrolling in the programs. The NAEHCY website offers a helpful information about eligibility requirements and how to sign up.

  • Health Coverage for Homeless and At-Risk Youth Homeless and at-risk youth are likely to be eligible for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (often referred to as the ACA). The ACA vastly simplifies and expands access to affordable health care, including for low-income and homeless youth, and allows states to expand eligibility for Medicaid, a health care program for low-income individuals


We seek to develop a plan to provide access to on-campus housing or to suitable off-campus housing between academic breaks to homeless students or students-in-care enrolled at the institution.

  • McKendree University Office of Residence Life provides on-campus housing for students enrolled at the institution, and we promise to:

    • Provide information about the availability of on-campus housing to students experiencing homelessness and students in care and grant them housing priority.

    • Provide access to on-campus housing that remains open during academic breaks and waive fees for the on-campus housing during academic breaks.

    • Allow students experiencing homelessness and students-in-care who are enrolled part-time at the institution to access on-campus housing.

  • Getting ready to go to College: A Checklist

  • Sublet.com- Provides a helpful search tool for cheap housing specifically catering to college students.