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Basic Needs Suite

According to a 2018 California State University study of student basic needs, 42% of CSU students reported food insecurity, while 11% reported experiencing homelessness one or more times during a 12-month period. If the basic needs of our students are not met, they tend not to perform well in class; they take longer to graduate or they stop attending the university altogether.

In response to these challenges, CSUN has developed several initiatives that are located in various areas of the campus. They include: 

  • The CSUN Food Pantry, which provides non-perishable foods, high-demand personal hygiene items and occasional fresh fruit and vegetables during pop-up events.
  • Matty’s Closet, a boutique of donated, gently-used, and new clothing that provides free clothing for students to wear to interviews and internships.
  • Basic needs coordinating staff to assist students with securing temporary and long-term housing, while also providing other referrals and wrap-around services to address housing instability, food insecurity and other needs.

Today, as part of renovation plans, the University Student Union has included the creation of a Basic Needs Suite. As the first of its kind within the California State University system, CSUN’s Basic Needs Suite (BNS) will centralize student access to food, housing, clothing and wellness services. The suite will house the Basic Needs department and an apparel space for Matty’s Closet, as well as the CSUN Food Pantry, which would provide perishable and shelf-stable items, and a community kitchen with microwaves, hot water dispensers, cold food storage lockers and food preparation space to help students make healthy meals. The space also will provide students with ample seating in a lounge and an outdoor deck. 

Working collaboratively with faculty members from the College of Health & Human Development, the Basic Needs department, and the USU, this opportunity allows CSUN’s basic needs initiatives to be co-located in an environment that promotes synergy, collaboration and partnership, while normalizing the experience and eliminating stigma through the provision of resources and services for all students.  

To meet these objectives, CSUN has allocated funding toward the design, construction and furnishing of the Basic Needs Suite. The USU has contributed funding to support exterior improvements on the exterior plaza to complement the suite’s functions. Your gift today will help create, launch and operate the center and its critical student services. 

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