Helping Hands (HH) was established in 2003 when staff members were alerted to assist a homeless student living on-campus with her young child. Many departments worked in collaboration to obtain resources and assist her in securing housing and other necessities for her child. Over time, many other students experiencing similar issues were referred. As a result, the departments decided to develop a fund through the LAVC Foundation that would provide immediate access to resources.
While the HH fund through the LAVC Foundation will continue to be run out of the CalWORKs office, the Basic Needs Center is evolving to become a centralized hub on campus assisting students experiencing any form of basic need insecurity. Thanks to the new legislation AB 132, we have hired a full-time Basic Needs Counselor/Coordinator, Juan Castellanos, who will assist in expanding what was once a program operated by dedicated volunteers in the CalWORKs office to a center open to over 15,000 students. Learn more about Juan below.
We are proud of our rich history and what’s to come from our Center and our partnerships with both on- and off-campus resources. In collaboration with CalWORKs, the Family Resource Center, and many other departments on campus, we will continue to serve students and meet their fundamental needs.