Public assistance

Student Advocacy & Care works directly with UMSL students who are recipients of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). We act as the liaison between Better Family Life and UMSL; providing students with attendance verification, guidance with requesting additional assistance from BFL, and connecting students to necessary community resources as needs arise. We help students verify attendance in order for them to remain in compliance with the requirements of the Temporary Assistance of Needy Families Act

For Illinois residents, visit the following site to find out more about temporary assistance

Student Advocacy & Care meets bi-weekly with students to verify attendance as well as check-in and assist in any way possible. If you are a student receiving TANF and need to set up an appointment for verification please email Shereka Kemp at

Child Care Subsidy

The Missouri Department of Social Services offers the Child Care Subsidy Program to help eligible families pay for child care so parents can focus on going to school, studying, or working.

Who is eligible?
Low-income parents or guardians of a child under the age of 13 (or age 13 or older with a special need) who are:
• Working
• Attending school
• In job training
• Disabled
• Homeless
• Searching for a job
• Being evaluated for training and/or employment
• Receiving child welfare services from the Children’s Division 

How can Student Advocacy & Care help?
Our social workers can help currently enrolled students complete and submit the Child Care Subsidy application. Once approved, we can assist students with maintaining their eligibility and completing the Child Care Schedule Verification Form. 

Food Stamps (SNAP)

The Missouri Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides supplemental income for purchasing food for low-income households. An eligible person or family receives an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which is used like any other debit card at the grocery store. The card uses money from a SNAP account set up for the eligible person or family to pay for food items.


College students may be eligible for food stamps if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • Are employed on campus in a Work Study funded role
  • Work at least 20 hours per week
  • Have a dependent under the age of 12 

We know applications and determining eligibility aren't easy and can be frustrating. The St Louis Food Bank has staff specially trained to assist individuals in determining potential eligibility for benefits, and then providing assistance with SNAP applications. See phone numbers below or reach out to and we’ll directly connect you. 

 STL Food Bank Snap Hotline

Medicaid and Access to Healthcare

Social workers can connect you to community resources that specialize in medicaid eligibility. If you have been denied medicaid, there are alternative programs to help individuals access the healthcare they need, like Gateway to Better Health. We can also help you navigate the services available to you as a student through UMSL Health Services.