Get Answers to Your Questions

Is the food pantry on my campus open?

All campuses continue to provide support to students who are food insecure and are in need of resources. The vast majority of food pantries continue to operate and continue their food distribution program. Students seeking these resources should consult with their campus. Please visit the Basic Needs Initiatives website for additional information.

I live far away from my campus and am in need of food. What can I do?

In efforts to continue to provide comprehensive support, all campuses continue to refer students to external community organizations that can meet their food needs. These organizations can include food banks and other non-profits. Please contact your campus to learn more about these resources and organizations. To learn more, please visit the Basic Needs Initiatives website.

If I need assistance applying for CalFresh benefits, can my campus help me?

All campuses provide assistance to students as they apply for CalFresh benefits. Given the current pandemic, support is provided either in person or virtually. Please visit the Basic Needs Initiatives website for additional information.

I currently receive CalFresh benefits and recently learned of changes to the program as a result of the pandemic. Where can I go to learn more about these changes and the impact to m​y benefits?

You can learn more information about recent changes to CalFresh benefits as a result of the current pandemic by visiting the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) website. You can also contact your campus who can provide you with information and resources. To learn more about who you can contact on your campus, please visit the Basic Needs Initiatives website.

I am struggling with meeting my basic needs. Can my campus help me?

Campuses offer programs and resources to assist students who are food and/or housing insecure. Please visit the Basic Needs Initiatives website for additional information and to learn who to contact at your campus.

I want to stay up to date on the programs and services offered by my campus during this pandemic. What can I do to stay up to date?

All campuses continue to be innovative and responsive to students during this challenging time. Campuses continue to remain connected with students via social media, email, and website updates. Please contact your campus to receive updates and current resources. Please visit the Basic Needs Initiatives website for additional information and to learn who to contact at your campus.​​


Is the webinar presentation that was hosted on September 18 available online? 

Yes, the presentation is available on the Student Well-Being & Basic Needs website. You can access the PDF slides and a recording of the presentation in “Faculty & Staff Resources,” under “Webinars & Presentations.

Direct link: https://www2.calstate.edu/impact-of-the-csu/student-success/basic-needs-initiative/Pages/faculty-staff-resources.aspx


How does a campus apply for funds?

Campuses apply for funds via the online forms.  More information and the online form are located at the following sites.

AB-74 (Basic Needs): https://www2.calstate.edu/impact-of-the-csu/student-success/basic-needs-initiative/Pages/basic-needs-partnership-rfp.aspx

AB-74 RRH (College-Focused Rapid Rehousing):https://www2.calstate.edu/impact-of-the-csu/student-success/basic-needs-initiative/Pages/college-focused-rapid-re-housing-program-rfp.aspx

When is the application deadline?

Applications for AB-74 and AB-74 RRH are due by Friday, October 25, 2019. 

Is there a separate application for each of the two funds?

Yes, there is a separate application for AB-74 and AB-74 RRH. 

AB-74 (Basic Needs): https://www2.calstate.edu/impact-of-the-csu/student-success/basic-needs-initiative/Pages/basic-needs-partnership-rfp.aspx

AB-74 RRH (College-Focused Rapid Rehousing): https://www2.calstate.edu/impact-of-the-csu/student-success/basic-needs-initiative/Pages/college-focused-rapid-re-housing-program-rfp.aspx

Does a campus need to apply to both funds (AB-74 and AB-74 RRH)? 

Campuses are not required to apply to both funds. However, campuses are encouraged to be strategic about ways that students can be supported with these additional monies. 

What if a campus is already doing all the features listed under AB-74 (Basic Needs) Required Activities?

This is wonderful! Campuses are encouraged to apply for funding and be strategic about ways to enhance these activities in support of students. 

If the campus already has some/all of these programs, can funding application still be submitted?

Yes, campuses that already have some/all of these programs are encouraged to apply for AB-74 and/or AB-74 RRH funds, if the need can be justified. 

If the campus already has a fund to provide emergency grants to students who have faced unexpected circumstances that impacted their financial situation, can AB-74 RRH (College-Focused Rapid Rehousing) funds be used to increase the campus’ emergency grant fund? 

Yes, the campus can use the 25% portion of the AB-74 RRH funds to augment the campus’ emergency grant fund. The remaining 75% of the funds, however, are intended for direct service to students through the CoC organization.

Is there a minimum number of external partnerships that a campus must already have or aim to develop?

Campuses are encouraged to develop and continue partnerships that support basic needs efforts. For the purpose of the funding applications, at least one partnership is required.

If a campus has two different campus locations, will it be required to have more than one external partner? 

No; if a campus has two different locations, it is still only required to have at least one external partnership.

What are examples of appropriate external partnerships?

Appropriate external partnerships include those organizations in a campus’ geographic area that assist in addressing student basic needs insecurities.  For a list of Continuum of Care (CoC) organizations that are providing support in the area of rapid rehousing, please visit the following site: https://www.jbaforyouth.org/coc-roster/

Are campuses allowed to partner with their local community colleges to create a more holistic partnership to support basic needs in their community?

Partnerships are great ways to support students along the continuum of higher education segments.  Under AB-74 (Basic Needs) funding, there is an encouragement to find ways to go beyond a campus environment to extend basic needs support to students.  Under AB-74 RRH (College-Focused Rapid Rehousing), this would be more challenging because of the emphasis on supporting college students from a particular campus.  Please note that the California Community College (CCC) and University of California (UC) system also received AB-74 RRH funding.

If a campus is unable to host CalFresh Outreach Day on Thursday, February 27, 2020, can it be hosted on another day that week?

For consistency and maximum visibility impact, we strongly prefer that all CSU campuses conduct CalFresh Outreach Day on February 27, 2020.  We are hopeful that with several months to prepare, this will be possible for all our campuses to participate.  However, if this is logistically impossible, please ensure that your campus conducts their outreach day during the WEEK of February 27th, and send an email with the revised date of your event to BasicNeeds@calstate.edu.

Is a campus required to do the Health Promotion & Education encouraged activities?

No; campuses are not required to do the encouraged activities listed in this category.  However, to be considered for funds offered in this category, campuses must commit to some of the activities.  Campuses are encouraged to think strategically about ways that students can be supported with these additional monies. 

Within the optional “Research and Innovation” category in the AB-74 (Basic Needs) application, is it appropriate to request funding for multi-campus research/assessment efforts? 

Yes; this is an appropriate use of AB-74 (Basic Needs) funds.  Campuses pursuing this approach are encouraged to include how much each campus is requesting in their respective funding applications.  Please keep in mind the importance of campus collaboration when identifying multiple research interests/opportunities. 

Who can I contact if I still have questions about the applications?

If you have any questions related to the funds and/or the applications, please contact us at BasicNeeds@calstate.edu.   


Why doesn’t the CO just split the money evenly among the campuses?

Each campus is unique and offers students several different support programs and services based on the needs of its students.  As much as possible, therefore, the CSU Office of the Chancellor wants to ensure that campuses receive support based on its need.   

When will campuses be notified about the status of their RFP application submission?

Campuses that submit an RFP application will be notified of the decision by November 12, 2019. 

How will awarded funds be disseminated?

Awarded funds will be disseminated through a Cash Posting Order (CPO), an internal process to electronically transfer funds. Campuses are asked to provide a fiscal contact for this purpose within the applications.

When will awarded funds be disseminated?

Awarded funds will be disseminated to campuses by the end of November 2019.

If awarded funds, will campuses receive additional support? 

Yes; there will be an “Awardees Expectations” webinar on November 20, 2019. 

When will campus use of funds and implementation begin?

Once funds are disseminated, a campus’ use of funds and implementation will begin December 1, 2019.

When is the project end date?

The project end date for AB-74 RRH is June 30, 2020.  The project end date for AB-74 (Basic Needs) is June 30, 2021.

If the campus does not spend all the awarded funds during the 2019-2020 year, can funds be carried forward?

Yes; with appropriate justification, funds can be carried forward to the 2020-2021 year.  This request and justification should be included in the Mid-Project Report due in August 2020.

Which fund are one-time monies, and which fund are baseline on-going monies?

AB-74 (Basic Needs) are one-time monies, and AB-74 RRH (College-Focused Rapid Rehousing) are baseline on-going monies.

Can AB-74 (Basic Needs) funding be used to address student homelessness and housing insecurity?  Or can only the AB-74 RRH money be used towards homelessness and housing insecurity?

AB-74 (Basic Needs) funding can be used to address student homelessness and housing insecurity.  AB-74 RRH (College-Focused Rapid Rehousing) funding is only for campuses interested in piloting a college-focused rapid rehousing program in partnership with a Continuum of Care (CoC) organization. 

Can AB-74 (Basic Needs) funds be used for building and/or facility upgrades?

Yes; because AB-74 (Basic Needs) funds are one-time monies, building and/or facility upgrades are an appropriate use of these funds as long as expenditures are directly related to providing basic needs support and/or services. 

Can AB-74 (Basic Needs) and AB-74 RRH (College-Focused Rapid Rehousing) funds be used for hotel vouchers?

While this strategy can be a viable option for AB-74 funds, it would not quality for funding under AB-74 RRH.  The parameters for AB-74 RRH funds are more restrictive, and specifically point to establishing at least one partnership with a Continuum of Care (CoC) organization with experience in rapid rehousing. 

Can a campus hire student assistants with AB-74 (Basic Needs) funds?

Yes; a campus may use AB-74 (Basic Needs) funds to hire student assistants as long as the student assistants are supporting basic needs programs and services.

Can a campus use AB-74 (Basic Needs) funds to purchase food directly for the food pantry on campus?

Yes; AB-74 (Basic Needs) funds can be used to purchase food to increase what is available in the campus food pantry.

Can a campus use AB-74 (Basic Needs) funds to substitute the operations in the campus’ health center or health services that are currently funded by the operating budget and/or student fee revenue?

No; it would be inappropriate to replace the state or student fee funding for the health center or health services with AB-74 funding.   

What are considered “operations” for health services?

Any program or service that the campus is currently providing through the student health center that is funded by the operating budget (state or student fee revenue such as the student health fee).

College-focused Rapid Rehousing

If working with a housing provider, must there be a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize the relationship/agreement between the campus and the housing provider?

Yes; campuses should have an MOU, letter of support, or a written agreement/document that outlines the partnership (including information on what each entity will provide and do).

If a campus is in a geographic area where there are limited community-based organizations focused on supporting homeless or housing-insecure individuals, can a partnership be created with the campus’ auxiliary services to provide rapid rehousing? 

Campuses are encouraged to work with at least one external organization that provides support in the area of rapid rehousing.  Many campus representatives have inquired as to how to best identify a housing provider partner for the purposes of applying for the AB-74 RRH funds. Each community has an entity known as the Continuum of Care (CoC) body which is responsible for overseeing the distribution of certain housing funds from the federal and state government. While these entities are not likely to themselves be a potential partner (as they for the most part are not direct service providers), they will have knowledge about the agencies providing rapid rehousing currently within their local community and could be a useful resource for identifying potential partners. A list of all CoC contacts can be found at the following site: https://www.jbaforyouth.org/coc-roster/

John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY), the sponsor of the budget request that resulted in this funding, may also be a resource for contacts to housing providers in your local community. Debbie Raucher, at debbie@jbay.org, is the primary contact for JBAY.

Is there a maximum amount of funding that can go to a student in need of emergency grants to secure housing?

Due to the fact that all students face unique circumstances in securing stable housing and meeting their basic needs, there is no set maximum amount of funding that can be provided to any one student.

Can a campus use AB-74 RRH (College-Focused Rapid Rehousing) funds to pay for campus operations?

No; AB-74 RRH funds are not meant to pay for campus operations (such as housing operations).    

How does a Continuum of Care (CoC) organization receive AB-74 RRH (College-Focused Rapid Rehousing) funds from the campus?

This is to be determined. 

How do partner Continuum of Care (CoC) organizations use AB-74 RRH (College-Focused Rapid Rehousing) funds?

Partner CoC organizations should outline how AB-74 RRH funds are used in its MOU, letter of support, or other written agreements/documents.  Generally, the CoC organization will work with the campus to determine how AB-74 RRH funds can be maximized to support students (in the form of staff time to concentrate on working with campus students, paying landlords for actual rental and housing costs, etc.). 

What is the relationship between the Continuum of Care (CoC) organization and the campus when using AB-74 RRH (College-Focused Rapid Rehousing) funds?

The CoC organization and the campus share a responsibility to provide wrap-around support to students who are experiencing housing insecurity.  While the CoC provides assistance with housing navigation (recruitment of landlords, identification of shared housing opportunities, support with housing application processes, credit counseling, facilitation to access to on-campus housing, facilitation of reunification with family members willing to provide stable housing, housing-related financial assistance, and housing stabilization services), the campus identifies a staff member who will serve as a housing liaison with the CoC. 

How will emergency grants provided to students impact their financial aid package? 

It is important for campus departments to collaborate when providing financial resources to students.  As all financial resources available to a student could impact their financial aid situation, it is important that the Financial Aid unit/department is part of the conversation when discussing how emergency grants are disbursed to students on the campus.  By incorporating the Financial Aid unit/department into the review process, an appropriate review of a student’s aid can be conducted to ensure that they have made full use of all available aid.  With this in mind, we are not suggesting that campuses go so far as to require students to take out loans, but rather ensure that all financial aid has been considered and discussed with students to ensure that they understand it and have considered all financial assistance available to them.  If a campus does not already include a staff member from Financial Aid unit/department in the emergency grant review committee, we recommend that this take place. This will aid in communication and timeliness of review.