By Mary Mueller
The face of homelessness in Savannah is changing, according to executive director of Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless Mark Baggett.
Baggett says that in recent years, more and more educated, mentally healthy people are living only two-to-three paychecks away from being homeless, especially if they work in the service industry.
College students are also at risk for homelessness. Many students find themselves faced with crippling college debt and a dismal job market after graduating, and with support from their parents cut off they have no place to go.
Often these students end up working day jobs at restaurants and bars until they get on their feet, and when these restaurants go out of business they have no resources left to turn to.
Alison Davis, associate vice president of Savannah College of Art and Design’s Career and Alumni Success department, offers a few pointers for escaping this fate. She says that students should focus on one career-boosting aspect per year:
• Freshman year: resume building
• Sophomore year: portfolio development
• Junior year: research and application to internships
• Senior year: securing a job
Davis said that one of the main buzzwords is now “entrepreneurship,” which students can prepare for through self-promotion, career research, professional development and evaluation.
According to Davis, the path to success is through patience, continued work, diligence and working with a career adviser.
With the help of SCAD’s Career and Alumni Success department, Davis said the phrase “starving artist” is not only obsolete, but “completely out the window.”
To find out more about securing a job in your field, visit SCAD’s Career and Alumni Success website.
To learn more about homelessness in Savannah, visit the Savannah-Chatham Authority for the Homeless website.Contact Mary E. Mueller.