The CSU requests $15 million in one-time state funds for Basic Needs Partnerships. The CSU began a systemwide initiative in 2015 to provide a framework for the CSU's 23 campuses to take a more coordinated approach to developing programs and strategies that support students experiencing food and housing insecurity and overall student health and safety challenges. CSU leaders across the system have committed to enhancing and developing resources for students experiencing challenges meeting their basic needs. These strategies include increasing CalFresh outreach and application assistance, on-campus food distribution programs, and new and renewed partnerships with non-profit and governmental entities that provide direct services to students. Every student who attends CSU should be afforded the opportunity to focus on their studies and not find themselves otherwise preoccupied with hunger or homelessness.
The CSU received a $2.5 million one-time state appropriation in 2017-18 and $1.5 million in 2018-19 to address student hunger. Awards were distributed to campuses to expand existing efforts to fight student hunger, raise awareness of services currently offered on campus, and develop practices and procedures to provide additional assistance to students in need. The CSU continues to work to destigmatize the topic of basic needs so more students in crisis can comfortably turn to a campuswide support system for help. Through ongoing training and engagement, faculty and staff will be better positioned to support on-campus efforts and refer students to appropriate resources on- and off-campus.
The CSU will continue to identify sustainable solutions for students and pilot a variety of emergency housing programs systemwide. There is also a need to increase prevention, interventions and destigmatizing campaigns for basic needs, including outreach regarding mental health.