Student Resources for Basic Needs

The Dean of Students Office coordinates several resources to assist students facing financial or food insecurity.

Dragon Pantry

Located in Flora Frick 154, the Dragon Pantry welcomes any students who are experiencing difficulty accessing sufficient food. To access non-perishable food, additional items and information about community resources, stop by the Dean of Students Office or connect with us via email.

Dragon Pantry Hours
Monday - Friday: 8 am - 4 pm

Swipe Out Hunger

MSUM has partnered with Sodexo and Swipe Out Hunger to help end student hunger. Sodexo has provided meals to establish a Meal Swipe Bank for students experiencing food insecurity. To see if this program is right for you fill out the Swipe Out Hunger Form.

End Period Poverty

MSUM supports ending period poverty by providing free menstrual care products in all university restrooms.

Student Emergency Assistance Grants

Students who are facing unexpected financial challenges are invited to apply for these grants.

Basic Need Resources

Many resources also exist in the Fargo-Moorhead community to support our students. The following resources are available to you to help if you are experiencing food insecurity, housing insecurity, financial hardship, transportation challenges, or other challenges. If you would like to connect with someone at MSUM to help you navigate these or other resources, please ask for help either through Ashley Berkenpas, Case Manager or the Dean of Students office.

This flyer provides helpful information about Child care assistance, grants, and community resources available to MSUM students.

  • County Child Care Assistance - Eligible participants can obtain county assistance in paying approximately ½ of a day care bill. Childcare assistance can most often be combined with scholarships or other grant/financial assistance programs offered through childcare centers. Applications available for MN & ND*
  • Minnesota Postsecondary Child Care Grant helps low income students who have young children pay for child care while the student attends classes. Minnesota residents can complete applications with the Office of Scholarship & Financial Aid.
  • Head Start and Community Scholarships
    • Community Action Lakes and Prairies offers head start programs and for eligible households can be care provided at no cost. Households participating in Head Start may also remain eligible for child care assistance or grants. CAP-LP has additional grant based programs that can provided funding/vouchers to assist with childcare costs for eligible households.
    • South Eastern North Dakota Community Action offers head start programs for eligible households as well as grant based childcare programs.
  • Cass & Clay YMCA offers childcare, after school programs, summer programs, as well as, financial assistance.
  • ABC123 Daycare offers extended hours childcare, accepts childcare assistance and has additional scholarship opportunities.
  • Parent Aware offers free tools and resources to help families find the quality child care and early education programs their children need to succeed in school and life.
  • Get Help Paying For Child Care provides resources that may be able to help pay for child care and suggestions that may help find lower-cost options.
  • Jeremiah Program is a national organization with a mission to disrupt the cycle of poverty for single mothers and their children, two generations at a time.

MSUM Campus Resources

MSUM students may apply for a Student Emergency Assistance Fund grant for assistance with unexpected financial challenges.

Emergency Grants

Community Resources

Tax Preparation

  • CAPLP operates a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) clinic during the months of February-April each year that provides free tax preparation services to income eligible MN residents.
  • SENDCAA offers Free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) for low-income individuals or families.

Energy Assistance

  • West Central Minnesota Community Action Energy Assistance is a program that is designed to assist income eligible households with the cost of energy/heating their homes.
  • SENDCAA Energy Share Assistance is designed to assist qualifying households to pay their past due light bill in the event of a financial crisis. Assistance is only provided when all other resources have been exhausted and a past due or disconnect notice has been sent from a utility company.

Voc Rehab/Career Workforce

Food Pantries

Several food pantries are available to individuals in need within the Fargo-Moorhead community.

Nutrition Assistance SNAP Benefits

Some students may also be eligible for SNAP benefits. SNAP provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency.

International students are encouraged to speak with MSUM International Student & Scholar Services before applying for benefits.

MSUM's SNAP Outreach Providers

SNAP Benefits Applications

Community Action Agencies

State & National Resources

Health Insurance

  • MNsure Navigators are trained experts at local, trusted community organizations. You can use a navigator to help you fill out your application and enroll in coverage. They can also help with coverage renewals, report changes to your account and provide enrollment follow-up. Services from MNsure-certified navigators are always free.
  • Family HealthCare provide non-biased consumer assistance for the Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid, and MNSure. Family HealthCare is fortunate to have Certified Application Counselors (CAC), along with North Dakota and Minnesota Navigators that help consumers understand, apply for, and enroll in health coverage through the Marketplace, Medicaid, or MNSure. These services are at no cost and available to North Dakota and Minnesota residents.

Clinics & Healthcare

  • Community Health Services Inc (CHSI) provides medical, dental, behavioral health and domestic violence advocacy services.
  • Essentia Health is an integrated healthcare system with facilities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota.
  • Sanford Health is provides genomic medicine, senior care and services, global clinics, research and affordable insurance.
  • Red River Women's Clinic offers high-quality affordable abortion care and family planning services to the Fargo-Moorhead area, all of North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota and South Dakota.
  • Planned Parenthood provides high-quality, affordable health care, and the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With or without insurance, you can always come to us for your health care.
  • Canopy Medical Clinic specializes in Sexual Health and LBGTQIA+ Health. Many of our services can be provided by telehealth, which means you don't have to leave your community to access your healthcare.

Dental Services

  • Family HealthCare Dental Services accepts all dental insurance plans as well as Medical Assistance programs. For those without dental coverage, or for services not covered under your insurance plan, Family HealthCare provides an internal Access Plan to those who qualify.
  • CHSI Dental Services provide complete oral healthcare for the whole family; this includes pediatric, adolescent, adult and geriatric patients.
  • M State Community Dental Clinic is a full-service dental clinic with services that include: dental exams, dental x-rays, dental cleanings, fillings and extractions.

Campus Housing

Emergency Housing - Students can move into a double-as-single room on campus for 2 weeks on an emergency basis. Cost for the 2022-2023 academic year is $46.85/night and includes unlimited dining in Kise Commons and room (laundry, WiFi, basic cable, and utilities). To learn more about Emergency Housing, contact the Dean of Students Office or 218.477.4222.

On-Campus Housing - Students can contract to live on campus at any time during the academic year for a pro-rated fee. On-campus housing includes room (laundry, WiFi, basic cable, and utilities) and dining. To request more information about moving into on-campus housing and rates, contact Housing and Residential Life, 218.477.2118 or

Community Resources

State & National Resources

Housing Legal Resources

  • HOME Line provides free and low-cost legal, organizing, education, and advocacy services so that tenants throughout Minnesota can solve their own rental housing problems. We work to improve public and private policies relating to rental housing by involving affected tenants in the process.

Legal Aid

Emergency 24/7 Resources

  • Essentia Health Emergency Room provides 24/7 emergency medical care.
  • Sanford Health Emergency Room provides 24/7 emergency medical care.
  • Rape and Abuse Crisis Center provides free crisis intervention, advocacy, counseling, and prevention education for those impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, and child sexual abuse.
  • FirstLink provides a 24/7 helpline to give referrals for local community resources as well as for listening and support. FirstLink also provides a 24/7 suicide hotline for if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide.
  • Trevor Project provides 24/7 crisis support services for young LGBTQ people. Trained counselors are available to text or call.
  • 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Lifeline Chat is a service of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline), connecting individuals with counselors for emotional support and other services via web chat. All chat centers in the Lifeline network are accredited by CONTACT USA. Lifeline Chat is available 24/7 across the U.S. and certain territories.
  • Mobile Mental Health Crisis Response provides short-term face to face services to restore a person’s functioning to pre-crisis levels. Mobile mental health crisis response services will meet with you wherever you are at to provide help from a licensed professional. Services are only available in Clay, Otter Tail, and Wilkin County.
  • The Steve Fund is dedicated to supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color.
  • North Dakota Mental Health Directory is a directory to help locate mental health programs and services this tool is here is to help.

MSUM Campus Resources

  • MSUM Counseling Services is here to help balance the social, emotional and educational pieces of your life.
  • MSUM Community Outreach Center provides free counseling for children, adults, and families. These services are provided by licensed counselors and counselors-in-training who are supervised by professional counselors as they work toward their master’s degree.

Community Resources

  • Prairie St. John's provides inpatient and outpatient care for mental health and substance use treatment. Provides free over-the-phone needs assessments.
  • Fargo Veterans Suicide Prevention Program provides suicide prevention and awareness for those who have served in the military. Eligibility: Active duty in the military service of the United States and discharged/released under honorable conditions. National Guard or Reserve may qualify if they were called to duty by federal order (ex. Activated for war).
  • Lakeland Mental Health provides in-office emergency mental health services during business regular business hours. On evenings, weekends, and holidays a mental health professional can be accessed for a mental health emergency by calling the center’s crisis line.
  • Village Family Service Center provides outpatient counseling programs as well as the First Sep Recovery program for addiction treatment. Trained to help people with a variety of concerns such as: depression, anxiety, anger management, grief, relationship problems, addiction, eating disorders, and more.
  • Southeast Human Services Center provides substance abuse treatment services, mental health services, services for people with both substance abuse and mental health concerns, and more. Services are only available to ND residents.
  • Solutions Behavioral Healthcare Professionals has a full range of mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists and licensed therapists. They provide services including individual, family, group, and marital therapy, as well as consultation.
  • Nystrom & Associates providing Outpatient Care and Treatment, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, as well as Community and Outpatient Mental Health Services.
  • Dakota Family Services providing therapy for adults and children, psychiatric services, psychological testing, animal-assisted therapy and online therapy.
  • Essentia Health provides psychiatric care in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
  • Sanford Health provides psychiatric care in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Community Therapists

Specialty Clinic Provider Insurance
Adjustment, Trauma, Anxiety, Veterans ND Mental Health Nicholas Guard Most insurances accepted
Affirmative Therapy New Stories Counseling Naomi T, Trista and Erika L BCBS, Sanford Health (& expansion) Medica, UHC, Optum, Preferred One, Medicare
Affirmative Therapy Lakeland Mental Health Center (LMHC) Alison Weiser Most insurances accepted & sliding fee
Affirmative Therapy The Village Chris Beitz Most insurances accepted & sliding fee
Animal Therapy Valley Hope Counseling Tracey Hanson Most insurances accepted
Animal Therapy Dakota Family Services Allyson Rust Most insurances accepted & sliding fee
Animal Therapy - cats Therapy Services with Shelley Shelley Dahl Tri-care, UHC (not student resource), ND-MA, MN-MA, BCBS
Animal Therapy - dog (emerging adults) The Village Shauna Erickson *most insurances accepted
Art Therapy Inner Canvas Counseling Ashley Stielow BCBS, Sanford Health, NDMA, MNMA
Art Therapy Creative Spirit Counseling Emily Holmes BCBS-ND, Sanford Health, Tricare, Medica, Cigna
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Grief Loss Insight Behavioral Health Miracle Hoff, Nicole Domine Varies
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma Focused-CBT, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) Allied Counseling Tamara Madler Most insurances accepted
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma Focused-CBT, Trauma, Adjusting Solace Counseling Varies Most insurances accepted
Couples Counseling Fargo/Moorhead Therapy Services Liz Fry Sanford Health, Tricare, Health Partners, BCBS
Couples Counseling NDSU Counseling Center NDSU Counseling Center N/A
Dialectical Behavior Therapy - Emerging Adults Therapy Services with Shelley Shelley Dahl, Marsha Werner Tri-care, UHC (not student resource), ND-MA, MN-MA, BCBS
Dissociative Identity Disorders (DID) Chrysalis Cathy Hjelle  
Dissociative Identity Disorders (DID) Therapy Services with Shelley Marsha Werner Tri-care, UHC (not student resource), ND-MA, MN-MA, BCBS
Dissociative Identity Disorders (DID) LMHC Dawn Kunz *most insurances accepted
Domestic Violence Rape & Abuse Crisis Center Rape & Abuse Crisis Center N/A
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services CCRI Linda Pagenkopf, Pat Lenertz MN MA
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Motivational Interviewing Willow Tree Counseling Andrea Klobuchar BCBS, Sanford Health, Medica, UHC, ND-MA, SUD Voucher
Faith Based Catholic Charities Melissa Lee Eckes, Kim Fritel  
Faith Based Valley Christian Counseling    
Gender Identity Sanford Daniel Sturgill MN MA
Gender Identity LSS/Abound Constance Vukas Most insurances accepted & sliding fee
Hoarding Lakeside Center Dr. Reinardy Private pay
Mental Health Clinic Resolve varies ND MA
Mental Health Clinic Solutions varies Most insurances accepted
Mental Health Clinic LMHC varies Most insurances accepted & sliding fee
Mental Health Clinic The Village varies Most insurances accepted
Mental Health Clinic Dakota Family Services varies Most insurances accepted
Mental Health Clinic Abound Counseling varies Most insurances accepted & sliding fee
Post-partum Prairie Land Counseling Natalie Reiter BCBS-ND, Sanford Health, United Health, Medica, Preferred One, Cigna, HP
Psychiatry Midwest Mental Health Staci Olson, Jacki Gervais Tri-care, Medicare, Ucare, MN-MA (does not accept ND-MA)
Psychiatry FHC Whitney Fear Most insurances accepted, sliding fee
Psychiatry Rural Psych Associates Tom Peterson, Tim Peterson Most insurances accepted
Psychiatry Sanford 8th St. Clinic varies BCBS, Sanford Health, NDMA, MNMA
Psychiatry LMHC varies BCBS, HP, MN-MA
Psychiatry St. Sophie's varies Most insurances accepted, ND MA requires referral
Psychologist Visions Psychological & Therapeutic Center Joe Cox varies
Psychologist Dakota Family Services Dr. Spencer, Dr. Willert Most insurances accepted, sliding fee
Psychologist Benson Psych Benson Psych MN MA
Sexual Health Knowlton O-Neill Associates Caitlin Pollestad Most insurance accepted
Sexual Health Therapy Services with Shelley Shelley Dahl Tri-care, UHC (not student resource), ND-MA, MN-MA, BCBS
Substance Use Share House varies
Substance Use First Step varies Most insurances accepted, sliding fee
Substance Use Drake varies Most insurances accepted, sliding fee
Trichotillimania Therapy Services with Shelley Shelley Dahl Tri-care, UHC (not student resource), ND-MA, MN-MA, BCBS
Trichotillimania (OCD and BFRB's) Lakeside Center Dr. Reinardy Private pay
Women focused Becoming Balanced Trisha Powell, Desiree Zielke varies

State & National Resources

  • Fast Tracker Minnesota is a virtual community and health care connection resource. They connect individuals, families, mental health and substance use disorder providers, physicians, care coordinators, and others with a real-time, searchable directory of mental health and substance use disorder resources and their availability within Minnesota.
  • NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults with mental illnesses and their families.
  • Minnesota Adult Mental Health Crisis Response Phone Numbers
  • Mental Health Minnesota - the Voice of Recovery helps people in their journey toward mental health recovery and wellness through peer-to-peer programs and services, public policy advocacy, education and outreach.
  • Reclaim: Mental Health Support for Queer and Trans Youth works to provide financially and culturally accessible care to queer and trans youth and their families, as well as continue to train practitioners and partner in community to create systems of change at the intersection of gender and racial justice.
  • The Steve Fund is dedicated to the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color.
  • Veterans Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource that’s available to anyone, even if you’re not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care. The caring, qualified responders at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances.

Community Resources

Visit for up-to-date information on routes across the Fargo-Moorhead community. MATBUS is available to all MSUM students free of charge.

State Resources


United Way 211211 Basic Needs Resources Hub211 Basic Needs Resource Hub

MSUM and Minnesota State have partnered with United Way 211 to establish a statewide basic needs resource hub. The basic needs resource hub provides MSUM students access to basic needs resources and support available on campus and in the community via phone, text, or chat 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

United Way 211 provides free and confidential health and human services information. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to connect you with the resources and information you need. If you’re looking for information about services available in your community for you or a loved one, they can help.

Text MNHELP to 898-211(TXT211) or call 211 (toll free at 1-800-543-7709) to speak with one of their highly trained information and referral specialists. Your call is completely confidential, and they have call menus in English, Spanish, and Hmong. Interpreters are also available for any language.

Visit the 211 website to learn more or to explore resources and support that may be available.

To search the 211 database of basic needs resources online, please visit the student basic needs website.