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Nonprofit Founder Gives a Home and Hope to Unhoused College Students
February 05, 2024
Jennifer Hudson is shining a light on a community hero who is providing a safe haven for college students suffering from homelessness and food insecurity.
Sam Prater from Los Angeles joined Jennifer on Monday’s episode of “The Jennifer Hudson Show” to share the impact of his nonprofit, Los Angeles Room & Board.
L.A. Room & Board is on a mission to end student and youth homelessness and hunger to ensure that young men and women complete college. The organization consists of four separate homes throughout Los Angeles that provide safe housing for college students who would otherwise have nowhere to live.
The houses offer three chef-made meals a day, tutoring, access to mental health services, career advice, and beautiful amenities.
Sam wants students to be able to focus on earning their degree without the struggles of food and housing insecurities. Since L.A. Room & Board opened in 2020, Sam has helped hundreds of students complete college.
“[We’re] just not providing a cot for people to stay on, we try to provide spaces that feel like you have dignity, that feel inspirational and aspirational,” he told Jennifer on the show. “We want to set them up for success for life before they leave our spaces.”
Sam is originally from Detroit and is one of 14 siblings. His mother died when he was a teen, and he soon after dropped out of high school. He experienced homelessness and often did not know where his next meal would come from.
At 23, Sam got his GED and discovered the power of education. He went on to earn a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degree before launching L.A. Room & Board in a vacant sorority house with 15 students. Today, the organization can room 190 students.
If you believe that no student should have to choose between finding a place to sleep and studying to finish their college degree, L.A. Room & Board could use your help.
The nonprofit has grown over the years, and now boasts four locations and 18 full-time staff — but costs have gone up, too. If you are in the position to do so, consider donating to help keep students off the streets and to help set them up for a lifetime of success.
To donate or to learn more about L.A. Room & Board, visit larnb.