We are here to help!
GSU4U is an initiative by the Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS) to strengthen support for student success. GSU4U connects students facing personal difficulties, such as food and housing insecurity, to campus and community resources. We are dedicated to assisting all students, no matter how serious or small the situation may seem.
What we do:
- We connect students to community agencies that offer assistance with housing, food, clothing, utilities, and prescription fulfillment.
- We assist with applications for SNAP benefits.
- We refer students to healthcare and counseling services.
- We connect students to academic tutoring and planning services.
- We provide departmental presentations related to helping students and staff identify distressed students.
What students say:
"GSU4U has been the bridge to help me to succeed here at GSU. The hardship of being a student without a stable place to live is extremely difficult especially when you do not have a family support system. GSU4U has given me access to resources and stability that will help me to succeed in my program and to continue towards graduation. I believe in GSU4U." - Anonymous Student
Need help? Please contact GSU4U in the Office of the Dean of Students. Your information will be kept private.
If this is an emergency, please call the GSU Department of Public Safety at 708.534.4900 or local police at 911.
Community Resources in Response to COVID-19
The resources published in this document (PDF) have been submitted to the GSU4U program to support individuals during the COVID-19 outbreak. Off-campus organizations and resources are provided for informational purposes only and publication does not constitute or imply an endorsement by Governors State University. Individuals are encouraged to contact the community service providers and organizations directly for more information.
Effective June 15, 2020, eligible Illinois residents and families can apply to receive assistance with food, rent, utilities, temporary shelter, medicine and other essential household services. To learn more about these expanded offerings and to fill out new remote applications made live today, visit www.helpillinoisfamilies.com. For more information, read the press release from the Governor’s Office.
* Off-campus organizations and resources listed on this website are provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute or imply an endorsement of the organization by Governors State University. The views and opinions expressed in any referenced document do not necessarily state or reflect those of Governors State University.
Need help? Start with a GSU4U Ambassador!
GSU4U Ambassadors are staff and faculty who are aware of the challenges
students may experience around hunger and housing and can help students
connect and navigate resources. Ambassadors can be identified by the
GSU4U Ambassador sticker (pictured above).
Want to become an Ambassador? Workshops occur each semester, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
|Academic Advising ||Lisa Helmemail@example.com|
| ||Kerri O'Sheafirstname.lastname@example.org|
| ||Chastinee Nelsonemail@example.com|
| ||Ivan Sotofirstname.lastname@example.org|
| ||Stacey Amedeoemail@example.com|
| ||Sabrina Slocumfirstname.lastname@example.org|
| ||Rebecca Schreursemail@example.com|
|Access Services for Students with Disabilities||Angela Szczepanik-Sanchez ||firstname.lastname@example.org|
| ||Collice King ||email@example.com|
| ||Craig Berry ||firstname.lastname@example.org|
| ||Karina Hernandez Cazarezemail@example.com|
|Auxiliary Services & University Housing||Mushtaq Choudhary ||firstname.lastname@example.org|
| ||Corinne Martinemail@example.com|
|College of Arts & Sciences||Merri Wilkersonfirstname.lastname@example.org|
| ||George Nkulenuemail@example.com|
| ||Novia Pagonefirstname.lastname@example.org|
| ||Kerri Morrisemail@example.com|
| ||Ben Almassifirstname.lastname@example.org|
| ||Laura Whiteemail@example.com|
|College of Business||Tingting Hefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|College of Education||Raquel Riosemail@example.com|
|College of Health & Human Services||Cynthia Carrfirstname.lastname@example.org|
| ||Jolander Jeffriesemail@example.com|
|Dual Degree Program ||Jessica Spechtfirstname.lastname@example.org|
| ||Sharita Walkeremail@example.com|
|Extended Learning||Michelle Sebascofirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Facilities Development and Management||Donna Gillemail@example.com|
|Financial Aid||Sylvia Ponce De Leonfirstname.lastname@example.org|
| ||LaSheena Fulleremail@example.com|
| ||Pat Rounsavellefirstname.lastname@example.org|
| ||Sharry Murawskiemail@example.com|
| ||Corey Droletfirstname.lastname@example.org|
| ||Barbara Francisqueemail@example.com|
|Financial Services||Linda Theres-Jonesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
| ||Jeanna Brown ||email@example.com|
|Institutional Research||Jessica Haynesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Office of the Dean of Students||Aurélio Valenteemail@example.com|
| ||Corey Williams ||firstname.lastname@example.org|
| ||Kelly Grab ||email@example.com|
| ||Lisa Carrafirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Office of the Provost||Colleen Sextonemail@example.com|
|Public Safety/University Police||Officer H. Jason Turnerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Graduate Admissions||Jason Vignoneemail@example.com|
| ||Stephanie Contreras-Juarez ||firstname.lastname@example.org|
Quick Overview of Campus Resources
Toolkit of Campus and Community Resources includes information about financial aid, housing, food, storage, shower facilities, books and class materials, and emergency necessities.
CARES Student Emergency Fund - Apply Today!
CARES Student Emergency Fund
When the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law, it made $6 billion in emergency grants from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund available to college and university students around the country. Of that amount, approximately $1.85 million will be allocated directly to Governors State University students through the CARES Student Emergency Fund.
The CARES Student Emergency Fund provides students with limited emergency grants for personal expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. Examples of personal expenses include technology resources, course materials, healthcare, childcare, food, and housing. Grants should not be used to pay tuition and/or fees. Eligibility: Students must be enrolled in courses during the semester / term in which the funds are being requested and be eligible for Title IV funds. To apply, please complete this online application.
The CARES Student Emergency Fund is supported by a federal grant and will be awarded in accordance with federal, state, and institutional rules and regulations. Unfortunately, institutions cannot award CARES Act funds to undocumented / DACA students, students who were enrolled in entirely online programs before March 13, international students, and students who are not eligible for Title IV funds. If you are ineligible for the CARES Student Emergency Fund, please contact email@example.com for guidance.
For more information about the University's allocation of the CARES Act fund, please review the report(s) listed below:
CARES Act Report_May2020
COVID-19 Student Assistance Fund
COVID-19 Student Assistance Fund
The COVID-19 Student Assistance Fund provides
limited financial support for students experiencing a coronavirus-related
financial hardship to cover expenses such as technology resources,
out-of-pocket medical bills, and other living expenses or basic needs. The COVID-19 Student Assistance Fund is a supplement to the CARES Student Emergency Fund since GSU cannot award CARES Act funds to undocumented / DACA students, students who were enrolled in entirely online courses / programs before March 13, international students, and students who have not completed a FAFSA. If you fall into one of the aforementioned categories, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students for guidance.
Distributed funds will depend upon the individual
situation of each student and the demonstrated need. Not all requests for funds
will be approved and awards may differ from the requested amount. Funds are
awarded once and do not need to be repaid.
- Degree-seeking students
who are enrolled in courses during the semester / term in which the funds are being
requested, including those who have not previously received financial aid.
- Students must provide sufficient
documentation of financial hardship.
Examples of Covered Expenses
- Course materials;
- Technology resources;
- Healthcare or
out-of-pocket medical expenses;
(rent/mortgage, utilities); and
If you have questions or need assistance, please
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 708.235.2845, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
GSU Student Emergency Fund - CLOSED
GSU Student Emergency Fund
The GSU Student Emergency Fund provides limited emergency financial support to Governors State University students who are unable to meet essential educational expenses due to a temporary or unexpected hardship. Priority funding is for students with an outstanding or current student account balance that inhibits their ability to maintain enrollment.
Distributed funds depend upon the individual situation of each student and the demonstrated need. Emergency funds are typically awarded once and are applied directly to a student's account. Awards do not need to be repaid. The fund is supported entirely by donations.
- Degree-seeking students who are enrolled in courses during the semester in which the funds are being requested.
- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing.
- Students must provide sufficient documentation of financial hardship.
- All other financial resources, including student loans, have been exhausted or are insufficient or unavailable.
Examples of Educational Expenses
- Tuition and Fees
- University Housing
- Meal Plan
- Textbooks and Course Materials
To apply, submit the online application and upload available supporting documentation. You will need to log into the application using your GSU username and password.
Requests will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis by a committee comprised of representatives from Institutional Advancement, Financial Aid, Financial Services, and Student Affairs. Other offices or departments may be consulted as needed.
As of May 11, 2020, no more applications will be accepted. When more funding becomes available, the application will be reopened.
If you have questions or need assistance, please email email@example.com, call 708.235.2845, or visit the Office of the Dean of Students in C1310, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
SNAP (Link Card / Food Stamp) Benefits
Need help accessing food? SNAP can be a useful resource during difficult times. Governors State University partners with mRelief to provide students easy access to SNAP benefits through text messaging, web, and voice. Find out if you qualify in just a few minutes so that you can get the help that you need.
In addition, GSU4U hosts on-campus workshops with representatives from the Northern Illinois Food Bank who help students apply for SNAP benefits in person. Workshop dates will be published online and sent via e-mail at the beginning of each semester (Fall /Spring).
GSU and Community Food Pantry Resources
COVID-19 UPDATE (04/03/2020): The GSU Food Pantry (A-1115) is
available for GSU students Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. To access the pantry, please go to C-1330 (University
Housing and Auxiliary Services) and tell a staff member that you would like to
visit the pantry. Only 1 or 2 students will be able to access the pantry at a
time in order to observe the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations for
social distancing. Hand sanitizer, latex gloves, and plastic grocery bags are
available for your use.
If you need other items or are unable to come to campus, view a list of community-based food pantries and meal services (PDF).
Housing & Shelter Resources
Case managers at the YWCA are available
to identify resources to assist with housing, transportation, employment, and
the like. Their services are available to all individuals at no cost. Please contact Nashone Davidson, Coordinator of Case Management, at
312-762-2784 or firstname.lastname@example.org
directly and as soon as possible to begin the intake process. In ideal
circumstances, housing referrals and placements can take 14 – 30 days. In more
complicated cases, placement can take up to 90 days. If you need assistance
securing housing, contact the YWCA TODAY.
The South Suburban Cook County Call Center assists with housing referrals and can be reached at 877.426.6515 on Monday-Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm. The call center provides two types of referrals: Homelessness Prevention (HP) Referrals (rental assistance, security deposit) & Diversion/Short Term Stabilization (STSS) Referrals (Non-financially based, case management). To qualify for the HP referrals the individual must have a income and proof of their hardship, (i.e. what prevented them from paying last months rent or proof of why they must move and can't pay forward for security deposit). STSS referrals are given to those who do not qualify for HP. However, STSS referrals are limited and it is recommended to call early in the day for assistance.
View a list of homeless shelters and housing resources (PDF) in Chicago, the South Suburbs, and Cook County.
The Storefront on Sixty Third offers donated clothing, home furnishings, and decor-related goods from Chicago businesses to more than 55,000 residents in the Chicago Lawn area.
Illinois Legal Aid Online's mission is to increase access to justice for lower-income and vulnerable Illinois residents. The website includes information on legal issues (laws, filing paperwork), how to find a lawyer, and connections to resources. Information is available regarding the following issues:
- Family & Safety
- House & Apartment
- Money & Debt
- Health & Benefits
- Business & Work
- School and Education
- Citizens & Immigration
- Crime & Traffic
Immigration Legal Services Resource Guide provides a directory of organizations that assist with immigration and naturalization services in Illinois.
Cook County Free/Low Cost Legal Services Directory
Will County Free/Low Cost Legal Services Directory
Physical & Emotional / Mental Healthcare Services
- The GSU Counseling and Wellness Center offers free medical and counseling services to registered students.
- Aunt Martha's offers care coordination, healthcare services, child welfare, and community wellness resources. Location: 19990 Governors Highway, Olympia Fields, IL 60461 Phone: 708.747.7100
- The Illinois Department of Human Services’ Mental Health
Division has launched a free and anonymous emotional support text line, Call4Calm,
for Illinois residents experiencing stress and mental health issues related to
COVID-19. Individuals who would like to speak with a mental health professional
can text TALK (HABLAR for Spanish) to 5-5-2-0-2-0 and will receive
a call from a counselor employed by a local community mental health center to
provide support. Individuals can also text 5-5-2-0-2-0, with key words such as
“unemployment," “food,” or “shelter” to receive information on how to access services.
CCAMPIS Grant for Child Care Assistance
Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS)
Child care financial assistance for Governors State University student-parents so they can graduate!
The goal of CCAMPIS is to assist low-income student parents with child care expenses at the GSU Family Development Center (FDC) to ensure student parent enrollment, persistence, and graduation. CCAMPIS is a 4-year federal grant awarded to GSU by the U.S. Department of Education. Continued availability of funds is dependent upon the U.S. Department of Education.
Family Development Center:
The mission of the FDC is to provide an exceptional educational experience that exemplifies best practices for children, an innovative learning environment for GSU students and creates a network of support for the families we serve, promoting life-long learning. The FDC serves children six weeks to 5 years old.
Students must be a Pell recipient or be Pell eligible. To determine Pell eligibility, students must apply for financial aid. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid
with any questions. Graduate students and students who are in the United States for a temporary purpose, are eligible if they provide a statement of their income level or a copy of their tax returns to prove that they are low income in accordance with the established low income levels table
Priority funding will be granted to full-time students. This helps to ensure that students complete timely degrees and obtain employment that can support their family.
Priority funding will be granted to individuals with infants and children in full-time care who qualify for Early Head Start (EHS) and Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP).
Students must attend an orientation and one parent/child program or activity per semester. GSU sponsored-programs and activities will be e-mailed to students each semester. Community programs and activities are permitted with prior approval of the Office of the Dean of Students.
- Students must make satisfactory academic progress to receive ongoing funding.
- Students must complete an annual evaluation of their program, care, and personal experience to receive ongoing funding.
- Students who graduate are required to complete a post-graduation survey on their degree attainment and employment outcomes with CCAMPIS support.
- Access to free or discounted full-day early childhood education.
- The Family Development Center (FDC) teaching staff will assist you with monitoring the healthy development of your child as they receive childcare through the FDC.
- Family engagement as full partners in the decisions that affect your children.
- Referrals to community resources and services to support you and your family.
- Workshops and activities to support both students and their children.
- Ensure your child attends programming Monday-Friday for the full day to ensure consistency and program benefits for your child
- Maintain communication with the Office of the Dean of Students and report any barriers or concerns
- Work with the Office of the Dean of Students at least once a semester to establish potential goals for the family and/or your child
To apply, submit the online application
and required supporting documentation. If you need assistance, contact email@example.com
Child Care or Dependent Care Assistance
For a student with dependents, an allowance for costs expected to be incurred for dependent care may be included in your cost of attendance. This covers care during periods that include, but are not limited to, class time, study time, field work, internships, and commuting time for the student. If approved, the amount of the allowance will be based on the number and age of such dependents and will not exceed reasonable costs in the community for the kind of care provided.
Documentation required: Copies of three months of cancelled checks (front and back) and/or money orders made payable to the child care provider. If the student/parent is caring for an elderly relative residing in their home, they must provide: tax return for the elderly person, bills from a longterm care facility, asset information from the elderly person, the parent’s/student’s tax return to see whether the elderly person was claimed as an exemption, and information about the elderly person’s income, such as social security, pensions, and interest/dividend income.
Please complete the "Budget Adjustment Form" and submit it with additional documentation to your Financial Aid Advisor. See: https://www.govst.edu/forms-publications/
Transportation for Medicaid Participants
First Transit assists Medicaid Participants who have limited access to non-emergency transportation to and from a Medicaid covered health care service.
First Transit is the call center that the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) contracted with to provide the review of prior authorizations for most non-emergency transportation. First Transit is NOT a transportation provider, and does not arrange transportation. First Transit does maintain a list of enrolled Medicaid transportation providers for Participants to select from.
Information on eligibility and scheduling transportation is available on the First Transit Website.
Resources for Undocumented Students
GSU publishes Resources for Undocumented Students including information about the Illinois DREAM Act, GSU admissions, DACA, financial resources, and community agencies.
Illinois Temporary Driver's License for Undocumented (Non-Visa) Individuals
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) publishes the Undocumented Student's Guide to College which includes information about navigating financial aid, student rights, community resources, and related laws.
The Immigration Legal Services Resource Guide provides a directory of organizations that assist with immigration and naturalization services in Illinois.
Academic, Career, and Technology
The Pritzker administration released a wi-fi hotspot map to support Illinois students during COVID-19 pandemic. Wi-fi hotspots
are available at multiple locations around the state including local colleges
and libraries. To find a hotspot near you, click here.
GSU Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
Governors State University has many of its programs approved by the Will County Workforce Board for funding by the Work Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act is a federally funded grant program to assist unemployed individuals in entering or returning to the workforce. These programs are certified to provide education and training to adults and dislocated workers who have been awarded vouchers under this act. Although, GSU does not provide vouchers we honor them for our approved programs.
For more information, please visit: http://www.govst.edu/wioa/