Grant for Emergency Housing Commits $75,000 To Dozens of Students in Need


Photo by Marco Verch Photography via Flickr. CC BY 2.0.

A grant provided in December to Diablo Valley College by the Genentech Foundation could help scores of students in need of emergency housing as rental costs continue to rise two years into the pandemic.

“I am beyond thrilled to report that the Genentech Foundation has awarded the college $75,000 to support student housing needs,” said DVC President Susan Lamb in a recent statement announcing the grant. The money will allow the college to provide emergency cash to students facing housing insecurity, said Lamb.

Specifics about the grant and how it will be distributed haven’t yet been revealed, but Lamb especially thanked Mariam Worsham, an instructor in the school’s Business Administration Department, and Jim Blair, DVC’s Director of College Advancement and the director of the DVC Foundation, “for working to bring this much-needed support to the college and our students.”

Genentech, whose foundation supplied the grant, produces biotechnology and medicine. Based in San Francisco, Genentech became a subsidiary of Roche in 2009. According to its website, some of Genentech’s most important discoveries include the first targeted antibody for cancer and the creation of Ocrevus, the first medicine created for primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

Blair said in a statement explaining the grant process: “We were made aware that Genentech was looking to utilize their foundation to support our students, and they were willing to explore various methods of doing so.” As a result, he said, “We met with the Basic Needs group on campus and [it was] decided that assistance to people experiencing housing insecurity was an area where we felt gaps remained.”

Blair added, “The difficulty is that people looking to secure housing often lack the needed deposits – first month, last month, and security – to secure housing.” According to Blair, DVC will be able to help 30 students put down rent deposits through grants of $2,500 each.

He said he is still reaching out to other corporations to see who else might be willing to help as DVC students confront the crisis of housing insecurity. Blair can be contacted at [email protected] or 925-969-2025.