May 13, 2020, Santa Rosa, CA – In addition to continuing to provide remote education to Sonoma County students through fall 2020, Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) is striving to help students stay in school throughout the coronavirus crisis. Through emergency grant funding, food distributions, a laptop loaner program, and a dedicated Student Resource Center, SRJC aims to provide students the assistance they need during this uncertain time.
Emergency Grant Funding
As of Tuesday, May 12, SRJC has provided more than $540,000 in emergency grant funding directly to 1,050 students, in the form of $500 distributions. Funding for these grants has primarily come from the federal CARES Act allocation to SRJC. Because federal restrictions limit which students are eligible for CARES grants, the SRJC Foundation is providing additional support through its Crisis Response Fund, in order to ensure that all students in need (including undocumented, international, and part-time students) receive support. All students who have applied for assistance have referenced losing jobs and the inability to pay for rent, utilities, food for their families, and other basic needs that will allow them to stay in school to pursue their academic and career goals. Applications are still open and students continue to apply daily.
SRJC is also working alongside the Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) to provide distributions on the Santa Rosa campus on Burbank Circle every second and fourth Thursday of the month, 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. The Student Resource Center also coordinates with REFB to provide distributions every second and fourth Friday of the month, 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. at the Petaluma Fairgrounds.
Additionally, the SRJC Foundation has arranged for a weekly hot dinner distribution for students who are homeless and/or food insecure, underwritten by donors and provided by the Wild Oak Saddle Club. Along with hot meals, these students receive boxes of fresh produce, bread, dairy and non-perishable pantry goods from the REFB, continuing through the end of May.
As SRJC moved to remote learning, it became evident that not all students had the technology necessary to continue in their classes. After a generous contribution from the SRJC Foundation, the college was able to provide more than 350 loaner laptops directly to students.
The Foundation also worked with a generous donor to make emergency relief funds available specifically for foster youth facing new challenges and hardships in the wake of the crisis.
Additionally, students have ongoing access to the SRJC Student Resource Center, which aims to help students succeed in the face of a variety of challenges. During the current pandemic, the center has continued to provide vital assistance through virtual appointments and the disbursement of emergency aid. They offer resources, referrals, advocacy and one-on-one support.
Resources include, but are not limited to, access to food, housing, mental health services, technology, and grant assistance.
During the current pandemic, the center has continued to provide vital assistance through virtual appointments and the disbursement of emergency aid. They offer resources, referrals, advocacy, and one-on-one support.
“Quality of life has a major impact on students’ sense of belonging, persistence, advancement, and overall experience,” said Basic Needs & Support Programs Coordinator DeAnna Rogers. “We provide accessible and equitable services and resources today while we continue to innovate, advocate, and engage in partnership building to lead systemic change for SRJC’s community’s future.”
The center is open virtually from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment. Students can meet with support staff through Zoom, Skype or by phone to learn about services available to them.
Information on student emergency grants is available at https://financialaid.santarosa.edu/srjc-student-emergency-grant.
Information on the Student Resource Center is available at https://resources.santarosa.edu/.
Anyone who would like to support students by donating to the SRJC Foundation Crisis Response Fund can donate at