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A Tale of Empowerment: A Single Mom's Journey to Access CalFresh Benefits

As a Family Service Coordinator, I encounter individuals from all walks of life, each facing unique challenges and seeking a glimmer of hope. One day, I received a call from a single mom of three, whose world had been turned upside down by the recent passing of her husband. The weight of grief and the responsibility of supporting her children left her struggling to make ends meet. The story began when she came across a flyer that mentioned medical assistance. With confusion in her voice, she reached out to inquire about her Medi-Cal coverage. After speaking with her, I realized that she didn't need to renew her coverage at that moment. However, something else caught my attention during our conversation – she mentioned her struggle to put food on the table for her family.


Concerned about her urgent need, I gently probed further. It became evident that she was facing financial constraints, and her inability to afford groceries was a pressing issue. Despite her hardships, the fear of potential consequences on her immigration status was holding her back from seeking further assistance. I empathized with her concerns but knew that CalFresh benefits could be a lifeline for her family. Understanding her situation, I explained that she could apply solely for her children, who were born here and were eligible for the program without jeopardizing her immigration status. It was crucial for her to understand that CalFresh Food benefits were designed to help families in need and were not considered a public charge. With a newfound sense of clarity and reassurance, she mustered the courage to apply for her children. I admired her bravery and strength in facing her fears head-on, knowing that she was taking a vital step toward securing a better future for her family. The very next day, we received a notification that her application had been approved. I couldn't wait to share the good news with her! Calling her, I could hear the relief and gratitude in her voice. She expressed her heartfelt appreciation for the support and information provided, which eased her burden during an exceptionally challenging time.


As I spoke with the single mom of three, she shared with me how much this assistance meant to her and her children, who were all attending school. Moments like these made me cherish my role as a Family Service Coordinator. Witnessing firsthand the positive impact we can have on the lives of those in need, especially during their most vulnerable moments, was truly rewarding. Her journey reminded me of the power of empathy and understanding, and the difference we can make by providing the right information and assistance to those who need it most. I knew that her resilience would continue to guide her through life's obstacles, and I felt privileged to have been a part of her story, helping her take the first steps toward a brighter future for herself and her children. Seeing our help's positive impact, I assured her that StLRS would continue to provide support for as long as she needed it. I wanted her to know that our commitment to her family's well-being extended beyond just this moment – we were in this together for the long haul. With sincerity, I reassured her that our services were always just one call away, and she could reach out to us whenever she needed assistance or guidance.


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