Poke your head into any community college classroom. Can you pick out the homeless students? Peter Koeleman can.
"I look for people who are late all the time. I look for people who are not showing up," said Koeleman, a teacher at Minneapolis Community & Technical College. "I've had students in my classes who drop out mid-semester and end of semester because they've become homeless or are about to become homeless and it's overwhelming."
Koeleman produced a video with his journalism students to show the determination of homeless students who want to get an education. The documentary, "No Place to Call Home," profiles four students struggling to get a college education while homeless. It's estimated about 1,400 MCTC students, roughly 10 percent of the student body, are homeless.
Students are increasingly struggling to find stable housing, MCTC administrator Mary Ann Prado told MPR's The Daily Circuit.
"We are a metropolitan college. We are near two major shelters," she said. "We are right on the bus line and so we serve a lot of low-income students and housing has always been an issue."
MCTC has a resource center to help students, and this fall, Augustana Health Care Center will provide room and board for up to 10 MCTC nursing students who will "work for their keep" and gain work experience in the process.