Pasta and rice packets on table

Basic Needs Center


The Basic Needs Center at Los Angeles Valley College offers an expansion of basic needs services that includes support for food, housing, technology, financial, transportation, personal hygiene, childcare, mental, physical, medical resources, and any related needs. Please learn about how we started, below.

Our Services

The Basic Needs Center is currently offering the following services to provide food security to our students:

  • CalFresh Application Assistance
  • Warm Meal Wednesdays
  • Food Distributions Every Thursday
    • In collaboration with Student LunchBox, we serve our Monarch students with the freshest produce available. We aim to fight food insecurity and ensure our students have access to nutritional and healthy foods.
  • Emergency Food Cards
  • Meal Vouchers

The Basic Needs Center is currently offering the following services to provide housing security to our students:

  • Housing and access center referrals
  • Housing Navigation
  • Problem-Solving
  • District Housing

Get Connected to Basic Needs Assistance

Person handing and pointing at a flyer

If you are a student in need at Los Angeles Valley College and would like to get connected to campus and community-based resources, please fill out the submission form below.

Basic Needs Submission Form

*Disclaimer: The Helping Hands/Basic Needs Center at Los Angeles Valley College is not a housing or social service agency. We do not provide direct housing nor do we provide legal aid. We connect and help our students navigate resources in the community to alleviate their basic need challenges. To better understand the role of our center and basic needs coordinator, please see the new law recently passed in an effort to address basic need insecurity.

LAVC employees can learn more about the Basic Needs Center and refer a student on the internal SharePoint webpage.

For Student Parents

Los Angeles Valley College Student Parents may be eligible for many services including:

For more information, please get in touch with the Basic Needs Center at @email


Our History

Helping Hands (HH) was established in 2003 when staff members were alerted to assist a homeless student living on-campus with her young child. Many departments worked in collaboration to obtain resources and assist her in securing housing and other necessities for her child. Over time, many other students experiencing similar issues were referred. As a result, the departments decided to develop a fund through the LAVC Foundation that would provide immediate access to resources.

While the HH fund through the LAVC Foundation will continue to be run out of the CalWORKs office, the Basic Needs Center is evolving to become a centralized hub on campus assisting students experiencing any form of basic need insecurity. Thanks to the new legislation AB 132, we have hired a full-time Basic Needs Counselor/Coordinator, Juan Castellanos, who will assist in expanding what was once a program operated by dedicated volunteers in the CalWORKs office to a center open to over 15,000 students. Learn more about Juan below.

We are proud of our rich history and what’s to come from our Center and our partnerships with both on- and off-campus resources. In collaboration with CalWORKs, the Family Resource Center, and many other departments on campus, we will continue to serve students and meet their fundamental needs.

Our Staff

Juan Castellanos posing

Juan Castellanos M.S.


Born and raised in South LA and El Monte, Juan is a first-generation college student who attended public schools, proudly graduated from a continuation high school, and studied at Rio Hondo Community College. After transferring to California State University, Los Angeles, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and continued his education at California State University, Northridge, where he earned a master’s degree in College Counseling and Student Services. 

Equity and student success stand at the forefront of Juan’s work, and with that his focus and specialization have been geared toward special populations. He has previously worked with students at Rio Hondo College, Los Angeles Trade Technical College, and East Los Angeles College in the following programs: Basic Needs, formerly incarcerated (system impacted) scholars, EOPS/CARE/NEXTUP, Guardian scholars, Dreamers, and LGBTQIA+. 

Juan can be reached at @email or at (818) 778-5965. His office is located in the Unity Center, CC-127. 


Photo of Javier Cano

Javier "Lalo" Cano

Counseling Intern
Photo of Lucia Martinez

Lucia Martinez

Counseling Intern
Photo of Valeria Martinez

Valeria Martinez

Counseling Intern
Photo of Yosseling Martinez

Yosseling Martinez

Registration Assistant
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Varduhi Anumyan

Student Liaison
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Ani Gevorgyan

Student Liaison
Photo of Hailey H

Hailey Hernandez

Student Liaison
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Artur Kobyakov

Student Liaison
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Erick Zarate

Student Liaison
Office Hours and Location

Campus Center 127 - Unity Center

Walk-In Hours:                                                                                            Monday: 9AM - 12PM
Tuesday: 1PM - 5PM

Appointment Hours:
Wednesday: 9AM - 11:30am
Friday: 9AM-1PM

Saturday and Sunday: Closed



Basic Needs Center 
Phone: (818) 778-5965

Juan Castellanos, M.S.
Basic Needs Center Counselor and Coordinator
Phone: (818) 778-5965
Email: @email