The Collective supports the development of new academic courses and assignments that address the complexities of homelessness and food insecurity. In promoting innovative pedagogy, we help faculty to foster critical thinking about and engagement with these issues.

Community Immersion Program

Faculty: Are you looking for ways to learn about homelessness in San Diego? The Community Immersion Program seeks to connect faculty with community partners - both on and off campus - who are addressing homelessness. Through enriching immersion experiences, we will learn from local experts and explore possible avenues for future research, teaching, and/or other collaborations with them. No prior knowledge about homelessness is expected or required. Please see the list of upcoming visits below and email kdeconinck@sandiego.edu for more information or to reserve a spot.

Saturday, February 15

Pancakes Serving Up Hope

Details: 9:00am-Noon (meet on campus and then carpool downtown)

Pancakes originated as a student-led initiative at USD and it continues to grow and expand its outreach with the support of the Changemaker Hub. Every Saturday this group serves freshly made pancakes to homeless individuals downtown, building relationships and trust with the families and veterans in need.

Monday, March 9

PATH: People Assisting the Homeless

Details: 12:00-2:00pm (meet on campus at 11:30am, drive downtown, return by 2:15pm)

PATH helps people find permanent housing and provides case management, medical and mental healthcare, benefits advocacy, employment training, and other services to help them remain sheltered. This visit will include a tour of PATH's downtown facilities and a discussion with housing and outreach specialists and others.

Tuesday, March 31

Rachel’s Night Shelter -- with University Ministry

Details: 3:30-7:00pm (meet in UM kitchen and take van downtown)

Once a month, USD students and University Ministry staff prepare and share dinner with residents at Rachel’s Night Shelter, a women’s homeless shelter in downtown San Diego.  Sitting down for a meal with the women is an invitation into encounter, as we each learn more about each other and ourselves.


Course Development Proposals

  • Course Development Program
  • Eligibility
  • Application Information

Basic Needs Acknowledgement

Access to nutritious food and reliable housing are factors that influence many students’ ability to succeed in the classroom and beyond. However, students facing food or housing insecurities may be hesitant to call attention to their ongoing struggles. The Urgent Challenges Collective encourages faculty to incorporate a Basic Needs Acknowledgement in their course syllabus, course website, or other materials as a means of ensuring that students are aware of the resources and support available to them.

Recommended, sample text below


Any student who faces challenges securing food or reliable housing, which may affect their academic performance in this course, is urged to contact the instructor and/or the Student Affairs Office (UC 232). If you find yourself in this situation, please reach out so that you can gain access to the USD Food Pantry, Torero Closet, or other resources on or off campus.