Since 2021, St. Mary’s Center’s has hosted a cohort of students with lived experience of homelessness and poverty called the Leadership Academy. As a team, the cohorts focus on the essential elements needed to become informed, effective, affordable housing advocates.
Each year, the students choose a different issue to tackle. In 2023, the Seniors chose to focus on advocating for access to shower and laundry services. They collected information through interviews with over two dozen unhoused residents, identified millions of dollars in funding gaps, and created a comprehensive up-to-date shower and laundry database to influence the county budget. You can read the 2023 Leadership Academy’s Impact Report here. You can also read each cohort’s work by clicking the documents below.