Chico State Basic Needs receives grant to aid unhoused students


Jacob Collier

Kendall Hall, on the Chico State campus.

The Chico State Basic Needs Project has partnered with True North and Chico Housing Action Team following a $870,000 grant from the California State University system. The goal is to address the rising issue of homelessness in the Chico community by developing a rapid rehousing program. 

“Through these partnerships, we have developed a successful system to identify and quickly provide services to students experiencing homelessness, so they can continue toward academic success and a rewarding life,” said Basic Needs administrator Joe Picard, in a statement for Chico State Today

The grant will be used primarily for rent assistance. The university is combining efforts relating to on-location case management through CHAT. 

This new partnership will also assist accepted applicants with security deposits, property owner negotiation, move-in costs, security deposits, advising on leases and cosigning, utilities, internet and cellular data. 

Chico State Basic Needs first introduced emergency housing services in 2016. Since then, they have been able to provide more than 125 students experiencing homelessness with University housing. Internalization of the stigma associated with homelessness is one major challenge in getting students to report financial hardships.

The challenges facing Basic Needs have been especially obstructive this year as issues relating to student homelessness have been exacerbated by COVID-19. With the help of CHAT and True North, Basic Needs has successfully placed 25 students in housing since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to research provided by Basic Needs, the California State University system estimates that more than 500 students will experience homelessness in an academic year. In the 2018-2019 academic year, 14% of Chico State students experienced homelessness. 

If you, or someone you know is experiencing homelessness, contact Chico State Basic Needs by going to their page on the Chico State website or call 530-898-4098 for more information. 

Joel Moret can be reached at [email protected] or @JoelMTheOrion on Twitter.