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Empowering a Client through Informed Outreach

Outreach events pose great opportunities to meet clients in the community, and to truly connect with those that may be apprehensive to ask for assistance. Catholic Charities Yolo-Solano provides pop-up food distributions during community events to provide essential food staples, but to also provide a safe space for clients to access CalFresh resources. At a recent outreach event, I had the privilege of connecting with a client who harbored initial fears about applying for CalFresh benefits. She confided in me about her concerns regarding public charge implications, a common misconception that often deters individuals from accessing vital support services. In response, I seized the opportunity to provide the client with accurate and reassuring information, emphasizing that participation in CalFresh does not impact one's public charge status.

Recognizing the importance of addressing her apprehensions, I equipped the client with comprehensive materials that outlined the benefits of CalFresh and clarified any misunderstandings surrounding public charge. I took the time to explain the program's purpose—to assist qualifying individuals and families without jeopardizing their immigration status. The client, though initially hesitant, expressed gratitude for the detailed resources and committed to reviewing them thoroughly. In the days following our conversation, the client diligently examined the materials provided. This process allowed her to gain a more nuanced understanding of CalFresh and alleviate her concerns about potential repercussions. Encouragingly, she took the next crucial step by reaching out for further clarification. I provided ongoing support, addressing any lingering questions and ensuring she felt empowered to navigate the application process.

When the client made the decision to call and seek assistance with her CalFresh application, they expressed feeling ready and confident with the support of CCYS CalFresh Outreach Specialist. Together, we navigated the intricacies of the application, addressing each concern she had along the way. This collaborative effort resulted in the successful submission of her application, marking a significant milestone in the client’s journey toward accessing the support she rightfully deserved. The client was then able to access our client-choice food pantry to alleviate her family’s short-term food needs and has returned several times to access the pantry and give updates with her case information. The experience highlights the transformative impact of informed outreach and the importance of dispelling misconceptions, ultimately empowering individuals to embrace the assistance available to them.

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