Welcome to SparkPoint at CCSF!
We welcome you to our basic needs center, SparkPoint at CCSF. We are here to support students by bridging the gap they experience when they attempt to connect to the numerous campus resources and services. We intend to help improve access and navigation to student essential resources available to foster students' academic success and economic prosperity at City College of San Francisco. Our center strives to provide equitable, trauma-informed, student-centered support, inclusive of our needs-based, equity populations, credit and non-credit students as well as our college community. We are here for you. We care!
What are Basic Needs?
Basic needs are things people need to survive and be mentally and physically healthy. Some examples are secure housing or shelter, nutritious food, clean water, utilities, transportation, and clothing. Basic needs can also include a sense of safety, belonging, and love. When researchers discuss “basic needs,” they often focus on food insecurity and homelessness or housing insecurity.
What is SparkPoint?
SparkPoint centers work with families to meet basic needs, increase income, build credit, increase savings, and reduce debt. Financial coaches work one-on-one with clients to recognize behavioral outcomes, set goals, brainstorm strategies, and set realistic action plans. They value strengths, build motivation, and provide monitoring and accountability. SparkPoint serves any low-income family seeking to improve their financial situation.
The need is clear. Findings from The Hope Center’s #RealCollege Survey in 2019 in 2019 revealed the many challenges and barriers community college students are facing in California: 60% of respondents were housing insecure in the previous year;19% were homeless; and 50% were food insecure in the prior 30 days. A 2018 report on the basic needs of California State University students highlighted similar findings: 41.6% of students reported food insecurity, and 10.9% reported experiencing homelessness one or more times in the last 12 months. These challenges, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, disproportionately impact low-income students, students of color, and first-generation students.
To address these negative impacts, the postsecondary education trailer bill AB132 requires California Community Colleges to establish a Basic Needs Center and designate a Basic Needs Coordinator on each campus by July 1st, 2022. Other public institutions are wrestling with the same needs on their campuses. Therefore, colleges and universities are attempting to find practices that support the well-being of their students and help students stay in school, leading to increased persistence and graduation rates.
UWBA’s SparkPoint centers have been operating since 2009 in eight San Francisco Bay Area counties. SparkPoint at postsecondary institutions offer vital resources (including food pantries, financial coaching, access to public benefits, and housing resources) that encourage students to stay in school so they can be successful and fully engage in college programs.
SparkPoint at CCSF is an accessible, holistic hub that welcomes and connects students and the community with internal and external resources. By meeting the needs of each unique individual with care and compassion, the Center facilitates access to basic needs, employment & education, and financial services that empower them to reach their goals.