(Shelter-Skelter poster created by Hostos College Now students)
There are over 54,000 homeless people in New York City today and about 23,000 are kids in families.

Eighteen students from Eugenio María de Hostos’ College Now program participated in a summer program where they learned about the decision-making process for choosing sites for homeless shelters in New York City and why some boroughs have more homeless shelters than others. As part of the program, students interviewed a community board district manager, a city council member, as well as representatives from an advocacy group and the Department of Homeless Services. 

Students also learned digital design skills in the Hostos Media Lab where they designed a poster highlighting their findings. Their summer experience culminated on August 27 when they presented their poster, titled “Shelter Skelter,” to a large, enthusiastic audience at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.  

The summer project was a collaboration between College Now, the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)—a nonprofit organization that uses the power of design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement—and teaching artist, Patrick Rowe.

Rowe said the program convinced him that high school students are not too young to get involved in important social issues.
"This project reinforced my belief that young people can tackle really difficult questions and come up with meaningful, insightful artwork and design to teach others,” Rowe said. “That's been part of our conversation since the beginning of the investigation.”

Rowe added that it was exciting to watch high school student engage in such an important issue, which had been somewhat of a mystery to them before.

(Hostos College Now students outside the Bronx Museum of the Arts)
College Now student Rafael Monroy-Rojas said: "This summer I learned not only about homeless people and homeless issues but also about how the city operates and who decides what the processes are."

This was the sixth Urban Investigation collaboration between College Now and CUP.  Previous topics included the placement process for supermarkets and community benefit agreements.

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities since 1968. It serves as a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs. The College’s unique "Student Success Coaching Unit" provides students with individualized guidance and exemplifies its emphasis on student support services. 

Recently named one of the top 10 finalists for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, Hostos offers 27 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 480,000 students at 24 colleges.