Basic Needs Resources in Rochester

Find resources at WSU and local organizations in the Rochester area for support with housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, and more.

If you have any questions or need help accessing resources, please contact Karen Stoltz at or 507.457.5023.

United Way 2-1-1

The United Way 2-1-1 is a free and confidential service that can connect you to local resources wherever you live in Minnesota. It’s available 24/7 and ready to help whenever you need it.

Text MNHELP to 898-211 or call 211 (toll free at 1.800.543.7709) to learn about services in your community for you or a loved one.

Your conversation with our trained specialists is completely confidential. Call menus are available in English, Spanish, and Hmong. Interpreters are also available for any language.

Local Emergency Resources

What Support Do You Need?

The WSU Children’s Center provides early childhood education and child care for students who are also parenting.

There are many local resources, and this list is not exhaustive:


State Government Programs

Handshake is WSU’s job search tool for on-campus jobs, internships, and even full-time employment.

Students can also take advantage of resources to help with resumé writing, practicing interviews, exploring future careers, and so much more—all for free through WSU Career Services.

Careerforce is a resource hub for job-seekers in Minnesota, offering education and trainings, career guidance, open job listings, a displaced worker program, and more. There is a Careerforce office located in the Heinz Center.

Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid each year to help pay for college.

There are many scholarships, grants, and other funding programs available from WSU, state governments, and the federal government.

The North Star Promise Scholarship program provides Minnesota residents a tuition and fee-free pathway to a degree from WSU.

You can also find other scholarships from private businesses and non-profit organizations. The WSU Course Catalog has a list of outside scholarships.

Find Energy offers utility bill assistance to students who struggle to cover their utility expenses.

Learn more about fiscal health with WSU’s money management online resources.


Emergency Funds

If you need a small loan to help cover unexpected costs, you can get a short-term loan from WSU. Submit your Short-Term Loan Application to the Warrior Hub by 1:30pm for same-day service.

WSU students can also apply for up to $500 in Student Emergency Grant Aid to cover a basic needs concern. Complete the Student Emergency Grant Application, and your requested fund amount will be considered.

Olmsted County coordinates a variety of financial assistance programs for residents. The State of Minnesota also offers the Emergency Assistance for Postsecondary Students (EAPS) Grant Program.


Tax Preparation

United Way has a program to help you file your taxes for free.

The Hive Supply is a food shelf for students on the RCTC campus. You can stop by once per week during the open hours.

Other local resources include:


State Government Programs

WSU Health Services offers clinic services on campus and via telehealth for students who live in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Call 507.457.5160 to schedule an appointment.

If you’re looking for affordable health insurance, MNsure is the health insurance marketplace for Minnesotans to compare health plans and find the coverage that fits their needs.

Here are several clinics in Rochester where you and your family can receive affordable care:

RCTC maintains a list of off-campus housing options in Rochester. You can also search for available apartments on Craigslist and

Olmsted County has several housing assistance programs including rental assistance, housing choice vouchers, and public housing.

If you’re struggling to pay rent or utility bills, there are programs and organizations that can help:



The State of Minnesota has a variety of resources for students experiencing homelessness.

There are several shelters in the Rochester area:

WSU Student Union & Activities contracts with an attorney in Winona to provide free legal advice to students who are currently enrolled at WSU.

The service is offered throughout the semester, but not during holidays or breaks. If you’d like to connect with the lawyer, email

Other resources are the Southern MN Regional Legal Services and Legal Assistance of Olmsted County, which provides legal help and representation to low-income people.

WSU Counseling Services offers free, confidential counseling to all WSU students. Appointments are offered in-person or via Zoom.

To schedule an appointment, call 507.457.5330 or email

Additionally, RCTC Health Services has partnered with Zumbro Valley Health Center to provide mental health services by licensed mental health providers for both RCTC and WSU-Rochester students.

You can schedule appointments online.


Statewide Resources


National 24/7 Crisis Resources

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

  • Call or Text: 988
  • En Espanol: 1.888.628.9454
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing: Use your preferred relay service or dial 711, then 988
  • Online Chat

Veteran’s Crisis Line

Steve Fund (Support for BIPOC People)

  • Text “STEVE” to 741741

The Trevor Project (Support for LGBTQ People)

  • Call: 866.488.7386
  • Text: Text “START” to 678678

National Eating Disorders Association

  • Call: 800.931.2237
  • Text: Text “NEDA” to 741741
  • Online Chat

Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN)

All WSU students have access to laptops with the eWarrior Program as well as free Wi-Fi on campus.

If you have any issues with your device or trouble connecting, reach out to WSU Tech Support.

Students can check out a WSU Mobile Hotspot for 24 hours through the WSU Krueger Library. There is no fee, but if you do not return the hotspot within 1 week it is considered “Lost” and you will be billed.  The hotspot is available on a first come, first serve basis.

PCs for People may be an affordable option for computer and internet access if you choose not to participate in the eWarrior program.

Both Spectrum and Comcast provide reduced rates for home internet with their Spectrum Internet Assist and Comcast Internet Essentials programs.


Government Programs for Internet Access

State of Minnesota Digital Inclusion Program

The WSU-Rochester campus is a regular stop on the Rochester Public Transit bus routes, which makes it easy and convenient for students to use public transportation.

A limited number of free bus passes are available to WSU-Rochester students. To request a pass, email or call 507.285.7100.

If you need transportation for non-emergency medical needs, Speedy Van may be an option.