Campus Centers

An ecosystem created to strengthen and sustain basic needs security across UC

In only six years, the university evolved from having no systemwide basic needs infrastructure to launching busy basic needs centers at all 10 of its campuses. These state-funded hubs serve thousands of students annually.

The centers aim to help students who have come upon emergency situations or unforeseen circumstances that have put their ability to meet their basic necessities at risk.


10 out of 10

All 10 UC campuses have established an on-site basic needs center, which provides access to food, emergency housing and support services.


Over 48,000 students systemwide have been served by campus basic needs efforts in fiscal year 2019–20.


The California State Legislature currently provides $18.5 million in annual funding to the university to support basic needs and rapid rehousing efforts.

Basic Needs Campus Centers

All 10 UC campuses have on-site basic needs centers, providing food, emergency housing and a comprehensive range of support services. Any UC student can use services at the basic needs center nearest them, not just on the campus where they are enrolled.

Case Study: How UC Campuses Supported Basic Needs During the COVID-19 Outbreak

In response to emergency campus closures as a result of the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020, campus basic needs centers quickly adapted their case management, food and housing services to accommodate social-distancing guidelines and to remain accessible to students.

Addressing food insecurity during COVID-19

Most basic needs centers shifted their food models to hybrids of direct food distribution and direct student grants, including adaptations like:

  • Pop-up mobile pantries
  • Weekly grocery pick-ups
  • Electronic gift cards for parenting students
  • CalFresh moved online, with application assistance and online workshops to support enrollment

Addressing housing insecurity during COVID-19

Campuses also implemented a variety of strategies to assist students with their housing needs during this time, including:

  • Direct emergency aid and assistance grants
  • Technology support for remote instruction
  • Remote rapid rehousing practices
  • Online workshops to help navigating rental contracts
My need for assistance is COVID-/pandemic-related. Unfortunately, my housemates and I came directly into contact with someone who tested positive at the end of our lease. Unable to safely self-isolate at home due to underlying conditions of certain loved ones, I was unsure of where to go. I was recommended to the financial aid crisis team, and surely they went above and beyond to aid us.
Karla Ramos, UC Santa Barbara

UC Systemwide Reciprocity Resources

This document compiles the ongoing basic needs programs and services offered to all UC students, regardless of home campus and geographic location.

View the UC Systemwide Reciprocity Resources document