When Eric Guo attended orientation in the summer, he faced a serious problem. This caused him and other students to sleep in the university library. However, on the second night, an upperclassman offers Guo to spend the night at his apartment. That night he was important for two reasons. Guo found housing issues posed to students across the country and made him one of his first college friends.
Launched June 14, Microsleep is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping students find “safe, affordable and convenient housing.” This service helps low-income and first-generation students find temporary housing at populous colleges and universities such as USC. This college does not guarantee college housing for seniors. Participating universities include USC, UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, and the University of Maryland.
Identical twin David Guo, a first-year computer science major, and fellow UMD first-year computer science major Eric Guo founded Microsleep to provide temporary housing solutions for students. Did. The organization combats student homelessness by connecting temporarily displaced students with hosts who can accommodate them.
“Let’s say a student is studying late at 3:00 a.m. and feels unsafe going back to his apartment,” says Eric. “They can use microsleep to find temporary housing to stay overnight.”
What began as friends sharing housing to reduce operating costs has grown into a multi-university network. The biggest challenge in this process was building trust and creating a safe environment between hosts and guests. The service does not implement a rating system for hosts or guests, but does offer features that allow users to log malicious activity.
Adrian Becerra, a fourth-year computer science games major, first heard about Microsleep when David Guo, one of his mentees as a spring enrollment ambassador, asked for advice on a project he was working on. and approached him. Becerra has not yet used this service, but recognizes its importance.
“If I have to go home late at night, [you] You can use Lyft for free,” Becerra said. “What if I have to go home after 2 a.m.? I’ve definitely had nights spent all night in the library, so I have to be back at the dorm at 6 a.m., 5 a.m.” it won’t.”
In the future, the brothers hope to expand Microsleep to serve community colleges. These institutions typically do not provide housing, presenting new challenges and making services such as microsleep more important.
“We have a lot of international students who actually start their teaching careers at community colleges,” says Eric. “But there are no housing arrangements here. They often have trouble finding housing in the United States.”
The service not only provides a safe space for users to rest, but also provides an opportunity to meet new people and create connections between hosts and guests. I remember when a user used Microsleep to be a roommate for 3 days and then a best friend.
“It’s also very rewarding to see the connection and compassion that people have with each other,” Eric said.
Ultimately, they want to alleviate the anxiety of not having housing for all students. Not surprisingly, many students have trouble finding housing. According to Eric, bridging the gap between high and low income students starts with providing equitable housing for all.
“Many people of different backgrounds struggle quietly and often unnoticed,” says David. “Take care of your peers and if possible, share a bed or couch. Compassion is something everyone can afford.”