Soon after my wife and I bought a house in 2016, we sought opportunities to share our extra bedroom with people who needed a place to stay. Through Safe Time, we have hosted five individuals for stays lasting between 2 and 9 months. We intend to keep hosting and we’re happy we can support low income college students by providing housing.
Being a part of the Safe Time program gave me an opportunity to redirect my life. I believe that is a blessing itself. Many first-generation and low-income students are lost, trying to learn how to navigate the college/university system. Safe Time allowed me to have a pathway to stability during my sophomore year at UC Berkeley. During my stay with my Safe Time host, I was able to learn new perspectives and also gain a family and community. I’m currently entering my senior year at Cal and am looking forward to graduation!
My second Safe Time guest was a UC Berkeley student who would not have been able to afford to attend the college orientation – his housing contract was not available until afterwards. He stayed with me for two weeks and was quiet, respectful and so very appreciative. He left early each morning and returned after dinner, so I hardly even got a chance to know him, but it felt so good to be able to help!
I took in Emerald after meeting with her at a local coffee shop and learning she was employed but living in a friend’s storage unit, sleeping on a cold concrete floor. I was apprehensive at first but after speaking with her I had a good feeling she was responsible and safe. We spent a lot of time talking and some of her history was hard to hear. She offered to help with cleaning and errands, but I preferred that she focus on improving her situation. She left after two weeks, after finding a low cost room she could afford with a friend. I learned that strangers in need are not stereotypes, in fact they can be stronger than us in many ways. Excerpted from Huffington Post.