Basic Needs Resources in Rochester

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

If you have any questions or need help accessing resources, please contact Karen Stoltz at karen.stoltz@winona.edu or 507.457.5023.


United Way 2-1-1

The United Way 2-1-1 is a free and confidential service can connect you to local resources wherever you live in Minnesota. We’re 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 early childhood education and childcare at reduced rates fees 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 resources to help with resume writing, practicing interviews, exploring future careers, and so much more—all for free at WSU Career Services.

Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid from 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.

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


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.

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.

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 student who live in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Call 507.457.5160 to schedule an appointment.

If you are 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:

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

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


Homelessness

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 studentlegal@winona.edu.

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:

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.


State-wide 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.

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

The WSU-Rochester campus is a regular stop on the Rochester Public Transit bus routes, which makes it is 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 wsurstudentservices@winona.edu or call 507.285.7100.

Rolling Hills Transit is a low-cost bus service that provides transportation for Rochester and surrounding cities.

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