U of U housing program soars into a second year

Aug 7, 2023, 1:38 PM | Updated: 1:41 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — In 2022, the University of Utah started a housing program that matches a university student with alumni, faculty, and or staff as their host for the semester. With school starting this month, the university is trying to expand the program.

The program, titled The Home Away from Home Program, compensates hosts to help house the students. The university said it’s a win both for the university and for the students trying to find housing.

The university said last year the program was just getting off the ground, but this year they have more traction and already 18 matches. For the third time, John Butler is opening his home to a student. His experience is an example of the relationships and community growth Home Away from Home is fostering.

“This program was almost a no brainier,” said Butler. “[It’s] not just writing a check, but actually giving back personally to the community.”

Not only was it a chance for Butler to give back to his community, but a chance for him to experience the campus again after years.

“I’ve probably stepped foot on the university ten times over this last year, and I hadn’t done that for 20 years prior. Life gets in the way, and I really engaged a lot more and I really felt good about that,” said Butler.

Dawn Young, Program Manager at the Office of Alumni Relations told KSL TV how the program also gives many families a peace of mind.

“One size doesn’t fit all, so students that don’t choose to live on campus… this is another option. The parents are thrilled that they can know their student is safe,” Young said.

As long as the program keeps succeeding and growing like it is, Young said the program will keep marching into future years.

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U of U housing program soars into a second year