Support For Urgent Needs

Attention International Students: Do not apply for and accept government public benefits! Accepting taxpayer-funded public benefits can jeopardize your legal status, future visa applications, change of status applications to another nonimmigrant status, adjustment of status to permanent resident and admission to the U.S. if it is determined that you could become a public burden. Public benefits that count towards the "public charge inadmissibility" rule broadly include any Federal, State, or local cash assistance for income maintenance, SNAP (commonly known as food stamps), certain government housing programs, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Medicaid. 


For more information, see ISSO's Guidelines for Maintaining Status


Food Resources

Columbia Food Pantry 

Three Free Meals a Day for All NYC Residents

Foodbank NYC

Hunger Free America PDF Guide with a list of 80 Food Pantries Citywide

How to Apply for SNAP Benefits in NYC 

Morningside Heights Boxed Lunches

NYC Emergency Food Assistance 


Health Resources

Columbia University Health Emergency Portal 

Columbia University Counseling and Psychological Services Support Spaces 

Free and Reduced-Cost Clinics in NYC 

Mental Health Services for Asylum Seekers and Other Vulnerable Populations 

NYC Free and Low-Cost Health Insurance Enrollment


Housing Resources

Affordable Housing NYC 

Catholic Charities List of Temporary Housing

Information on Temporary Housing Assistance and Shelter 

Information on NYC Housing Connect 

New York Department of Homeless Services 


Legal Resources

LawHelp New York

Volunteers of Legal Services Resources During COVID-19

Legal Aid Society

Legal Services NYC

NYC Bar Association Free Legal Services


Resources for Immigrants and International Students

Catholic Charities List of Immigrant Resources

Columbia University Resources for DACA Students

International Students and Scholars Hub for COVID-19

Legal Aid Society Immigration Advocates Network

NYC Resources for Immigrants


Unemployment/Financial Assistance

New York State Unemployment Payout

New York State Paid Family and Sick Leave