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.

Email: GSU4U@govst.edu
Phone: 708.235.2845
Office: C-1310

The Office of the Dean of Students is open Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. If this is an emergency, please call the GSU Department of Public Safety at 708.534.4900 or local police at 911. At this time, the GSU4U program is providing services remotely; please call or e-mail for assistance.

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 faculty and staff who are aware of the challenges students may experience around hunger and housing and can help students connect with and navigate resources. Ambassadors can be identified by the GSU4U Ambassador sticker (pictured above).

    Want to become an Ambassador? Workshops occur each semester, contact gsu4u@govst.edu for more information.

    Academic Advising     Lisa Helmlhendrickson@govst.edu
     Kerri O'Sheakoshea@govst.edu
     Chastinee Nelsoncnelson8@govst.edu
     Ivan Sotoisoto@govst.edu
     Stacey Amedeosamedeo@govst.edu
     Sabrina Slocumsslocum@govst.edu
     Rebecca Schreursrschreurs@govst.edu
     Pam Pennpstipanich@govst.edu
    Access Services for Students with DisabilitiesAngela Szczepanik-Sanchezaszczepaniksanchez@govst.edu
    AdmissionsTiffani Robertsontrobertson3@govst.edu
     Collice King      cking@govst.edu
     Craig Berry     cberry@govst.edu
     Karina Hernandez Cazarezkhernandezcazarez@govst.edu
     Jason Vignonevignone@govst.edu
    AthleticsMatt Eggertmeggert@govst.edu
    Auxiliary Services & University HousingMushtaq Choudhary     mchoudhary@govst.edu
     Corinne Martincmartin8@govst.edu
    AdvancementKymbria Youngkyoung6@govst.edu
    Center for Student Engagement & Intercultural ProgramsAdrienne Easterlingaeasterling@govst.edu
    College of Arts & SciencesMerri Wilkersonmwilkerson@govst.edu
     George Nkulenugnkulenu@govst.edu
     Novia Pagonenpagone@govst.edu
     Kerri Morriskmorris2@govst.edu
     Ben Almassibalmassi@govst.edu
     Laura Whitelwhite@govst.edu
     Erik Lovellelovell@govst.edu
     Rashidah Muhammadrmuhammad@govst.edu
    College of BusinessTingting Hethe@govst.edu
     Alice Keane     akeane@govst.edu
    College of EducationRaquel Riosrrios@govst.edu
     Matthew Cooneymcooney@govst.edu
     Amy Vujaklijaavujaklija@govst.edu
    College of Health & Human ServicesCynthia Carrccarr@govst.edu
     Ann Jasoajaso@govst.edu
     Jolander Jeffriesjjeffries@govst.edu
    Dual Degree Program    Jessica Spechtjspecht@govst.edu
     Sharita Walkerswalker3@govst.edu
    Extended LearningMichelle Sebascomsebasco@govst.edu
     Katie Rosaleskkarstensen@govst.edu
     Paige Fisherpfisher@govst.edu
    Facilities Development and ManagementDonna Gilldgill3@govst.edu
    Financial AidSylvia Ponce De Leonsponcedeleon@govst.edu
     LaSheena Fullerlfuller@govst.edu
     Pat Rounsavelleprounsavelle@govst.edu
     Sharry Murawskismurawski@govst.edu
     Corey Droletcdrolet@govst.edu
     Barbara Francisquebfrancisque@govst.edu
    Financial ServicesLinda Theres-Jonesltheres-jones@govst.edu
     Jeanna Brown     jbrown24@govst.edu
     Brave Fungbfung@govst.edu
    Human ResourcesCarin Cooperccooper2@govst.edu
    Institutional ResearchJessica Haynesjhaynes4@govst.edu
    International ServicesAmy Soubasoub@govst.edu
    Office of the Dean of StudentsCorey Williams     cwilliams43@govst.edu
     Kelly Grab   kgrab@govst.edu
     Lisa Carralcarra@govst.edu
    Office of the ProvostColleen Sextoncsexton@govst.edu
     Beth Cada     bcada@govst.edu
    Public Safety/University PoliceOfficer H. Jason Turnerhturner@govst.edu
    RegistrarKimberly Petersonkpeterson1@govst.edu
     Stephanie Contreras-Juarez     sjuarez@govst.edu


  • Quick Overview of Campus Resources


    Toolkit of Campus and Community Resources (PDF) 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 is supported by a federal grant and will be awarded in accordance with federal, state, and institutional rules and regulations, until the fund is exhausted.

    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, complete this online application in its entirety.  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. For this reason, GSU has established a limited COVID-19 Student Assistance Fund* from private donations. If you are ineligible for the CARES Student Emergency Fund, please contact gsu4u@govst.edu for guidance. 


    *Students will only be awarded from one fund. If you are eligible for the CARES Student Emergency Fund, you should apply to that fund as the supplemental COVID-19 Assistance Fund is limited to only those ineligible for CARES. 

  • COVID-19 Student Assistance Fund - CARES Supplement



    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.  

    Eligibility Requirements

    • 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;
    • Childcare; 
    • Food;
    • Housing (rent/mortgage, utilities); and
    • Transportation


    If you have questions or need assistance, please e-mail gsu4u@govst.edu or call 708.235.2845, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

     *Students will only be awarded from one fund. If you are eligible for the CARES Student Emergency Fund, you should apply for that as the supplemental fund is limited to only those ineligible for CARES.

  • 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. The fund is supported entirely by donations and awards do not need to be repaid. 

    Eligibility Requirements

    • 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. If more funding becomes available, the application will be reopened. 


    If you have questions or need assistance, please email gsu4u@govst.edu, 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


    The GSU Food Pantry (A-1115) is available for GSU students Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. To access the pantry, please go to A-2100 (Center for Student Engagement and Intercultural Programs) 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. Students must have their Governors State University ID to utilize the Food Pantry.

    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  nashone.goolsby-davidson@ywcachicago.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. 


  • Personal Care


    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.

  • Legal Services


    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

    A number of law schools, bar associations and nonprofit organizations across the state offer pro bono legal advice and representation for those who are unable to afford legal services. Please visit the Illinois Attorney General website for a list of referrals.

  • 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.

    Eligibility Requirements:

    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 at faid@govst.edu 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).

    Program Requirements:

    • 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.

    Program Benefits:

    • 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. 

    Participant Requirements:

    • 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 gsu4u@govst.edu or 708.235.2845.

  • 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: 

  • Community Resources in Response to COVID-19


    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.

    On August 24, 2020, the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) announced the opening of the state’s new Emergency Mortgage Assistance (EMA) program to assist homeowners who have seen their income decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the EMA program, IHDA will allocate grants up to $15,000 to help income-eligible homeowners who have struggled to make their mortgage payments as a result of the pandemic. Applications are now available at ema.ihda.org and IHDA expects to assist approximately 10,000 households before the end of 2020. For more information, read the press release from the Governor's Office.