#RealCollegeCalifornia was launched in 2019 when the Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges’ Affordability, Food & Housing Access Taskforce sought support from the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. Their shared vision: To learn from the latest scientific evidence to advance the institutional effectiveness of basic needs accessibility work. By mid-2019, the #RealCollegeCalifornia Coalition was born. While the current pandemic was not on the horizon, there has been a clear and present basic needs crisis affecting students for some time now. Beginning to address that crisis helped leaders prepare for the additional challenges they were soon to face with COVID-19.