Resources for Basic Needs Initiative

This page serves as a resource for Basic Needs related information.

  • American Council on Education Webinar: Basic Needs for All Students - On June 11, 2020, Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, leader of the #RealCollege movement and best known for her innovative research on food and housing insecurity in higher education, discussed the importance of basic needs and emergency aid for college and university students. In a report she authored, it was revealed that 68% of parenting students were housing insecure in the previous year, compared to 42% of students who were housing insecure the previous year.  The pandemic has exasperated the crisis around basic needs. 

In an unprecedented move, the federal government granted higher ed with nearly $7B through the CARES Act to be used exclusively for emergency aid for their students. Learn more about why granting emergency aid has always been important but is most especially critical today, along with strategies for how to assess basic needs and disburse funds. Dr. Goldrick-Rab shared in the June 11, 2020 webinar why using an equity lens (to support all students, but especially DACA, students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, and student parents) has a clear return on investment (ROI) for higher education.  

  • CSU campuses work in partnership with several community organizations to help meet students' basic needs. As such, and recognizing that not all students are currently located close to a CSU campus and may be located closer to community-based organizations that provide basic needs support, students are encouraged to visit This free website is a reliable, holistic, and user-friendly system designed to help individuals get connected to food, housing, transportation, and other resources. 

  • Sonoma State Basic Needs Strategic Plan 2025 (pdf)

  • Hope Center Response to COVID 19 for #RealCollege Students - Guides, webinars, news reports, policy guidance.

  • March 10, 2021 - Trump's Public Charge Rule Permanently Blocked Nationwide. Summary: Trump's public charge rule is permanently blocked nationwide, finally ending a policy that has caused millions of immigrants to forego vital health and economic support services. Now, the Department of Homeland Security and USCIS will follow the 1999 field guidance. Under this policy, immigrants and their families can safely access CalFresh, Medi-Cal, and other programs for which they are eligible without harming their immigration status.