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Basic Needs

At the University of California, we are committed to ensuring our students have the resources to achieve their full potential. That includes instituting critical basic needs services, supports and policies that prioritize social justice, financial stability and health equity for all. 

General Support

UC Basic Needs Campus Centers

UC Basic Needs Centers are dedicated to helping all UC students, regardless of documentation status. Campus centers can also provide community resources and referrals specific to your location that may not be listed here. 

UC Undocumented Student Resources

UC offers campus-based undocumented student resource centers with assistance and referrals specific to your area. Be sure to check in with them, as well as your campus basic needs center, about programs helpful to your specific situation.

Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)

ILRC provides an overview of some basic needs public programs undocumented peoples can access in California. The following also discusses the public charge rule.

September 2022 Public Benefits for Noncitizens in California (


General Community/State Basic Needs Resources

Department of Social Services Resources for Refugees

For general contact information for your local county social services office, search for your county here: California County Department of Social Services


Apply for CalFresh, Medi-Cal and CalWORKs. It is highly suggested you check in with your undocumented and basic needs centers first.

2-1-1 California

2-1-1 is a statewide network that connects callers to local referrals. Simply dial 2-1-1 twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. 2-1-1 services are available in 150 different languages. is the online platform for 2-1-1, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.



Find Your Local Food Bank | Feeding America

Local food banks often have free food and nutrition programs with no immigration or documentation restrictions.

CALIFORNIA WIC ASSOCIATION – Protect Immigrant Families

WIC offers free food vouchers for pregnant women, nursing women and young children.



Operation Allies Welcome - HUD Programs & Resources

Certain types of publicly funded housing programs “necessary to protect life and safety” are available, regardless of immigration status. These often involve emergency or temporary services, such as emergency homeless shelters, or help for those experiencing domestic violence, human trafficking or other crime victimization. 

Review the above document for more information and then connect with your campus basic needs center and campus student undocumented center. Information on local programs can also be accessed by Calling 2-1-1


Energy Assistance

California Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

LIHEAP offers income-based assistance paying for home energy bills.

California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE) & Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) – Programs

These programs offer discounts on home energy bills based on income and household size.

Health Insurance

UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP)

UC student health insurance program.

Do You Qualify? | Medi-Cal Eligibility

Emergency and pregnancy/postpartum MediCal may be available regardless of documentation status; MediCal eligibility is also expanding for undocumented persons in California based on age. Speak with your campus undocumented student center for the most updated information before applying. 


Mental Health

Student Health and Counseling

UC student physical and mental health services.

Mental Health Connector – IMMIGRANTS RISING

Free, confidential mental health support services specific to the undocumented community.


Resources for Dependent Children

California - Child Care Aware of America

Information on California child care, child care resources and other assistance programs applicable to families.

California Head Start |

Free early preschool and preschool programs.

California Universal Meals - School Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)

Free or discounted food for children attending public K-12 schools. 


Documented or citizenship-holding children who live in households with undocumented adults may qualify for CalFresh. If adult applicants are not applying for themselves, they are not required to provide proof of citizenship or immigration status.