Cerritos releases a “one-stop” shop for emergency resources during COVID-19

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Sean Davis

The Cerritos Cares webpage has many resources students might want during this crisis. The site is open to current and prospective students who might need a helping hand.

Sean Davis, News Editor

Cerritos College has created a webpage to provide students with easy access to emergency resources they might need during this unforeseen pandemic crisis.

The page, according to Student Trustee Valery Escobar, is a “one-stop place for all students’ needs” during this crisis so “students aren’t… going around the website trying to find [these] resources.”

The webpage, Cerritos Cares, is a recent creation in response to the stay at home order imposed by the state of California.

Cerritos College’s move to off-campus classes has forced the school to adapt in response to students’ unique needs. The page has been an idea that’s been “floating around for a while” but the idea was “expedited by the Coronavirus,” says Escobar.

According to Escobar, much of the site was formatted around issues students expressed to their professors during classes.

“It was a collaborative idea,” she says. “Everyone was able to pick points that students were telling them. Some of the people in the meeting actually [teach] classes… and were able to address some of the student [needs].”

The webpage provides clear links for aid resources provided by the school. These include an Emergency Aid application, mental health services, academic planning and counseling, as well as resources for students considering attending Cerritos in the future.

According to Cerritos College President Jose Fierro, the list is “comprehensive” and has already been put to use by students.

“We have received 384 requests via the emergency aid link. Requests vary, but the overwhelming items requested are: assistance with rent, utilities, and internet due to lost income related to COVID-19,” says Fierro.

With the recent changes in many people’s grocery shopping habits as well as losses in income, some Cerritos students may be struggling to meet their basic needs. In response to this, Cerritos has provided applications for food aid programs like CalFRESH and a “drive-thru food distribution” organized by the LA Regional Food Bank.

This food distribution is scheduled for April 14 and April 29. More information can be found on a flyer listed on the Cerritos Cares webpage.

Students unable to attend this food truck can apply for financial aid, which according to Escobar, includes “passing out gift cards for grocery cards.”

Students struggling with the transition to online teaching can access potentially much-needed online tutoring and academic planning as well as the online library and bookstore.

Dr. Fierro says the Cerritos Cares page is a work in progress that will be updated throughout this ongoing crisis to best meet the needs expressed by Cerritos College students.

“We will continue to run our support programs during these difficult times and will continue to make improvements as we move forward,” he says. “Our Cerritos College Family is working hard to ensure the needs of our students are met during these difficult times.”

The page also has a link near the bottom with which students can provide feedback on their experience using the Cerritos Cares page or any other service provided by the school.

The site can be found off the Cerritos College homepage or by going to www.cerritos.edu/cerritoscares.