top of page

Homelessness and CalFresh

In January, I received a referral from one of our partnering agencies. This client was experiencing financial hardships and needed many resources. When I made my initial contact, he expressed a great need for food. He shared with me his situation and explained that he was currently homeless and living in a shelter. He also explained that he made a living by cutting hair, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he could not cut hair as he would normally. During our initial phone call, he requested assistance with food resources. I offered to assist him with a CalFresh application, which he initially declined.

As I continued to work with this client, I educated him about the CalFresh program. Due to a possible negative past experience, he felt as if he would not qualify for the program. Thankfully, I was able to schedule an application appointment with him and reassured him that I would advocate for him during the case evaluation process. I also explained that because he is currently experiencing homelessness, he would automatically qualify for expedited services. This means that I would indicate that his situation was considered an emergency during the initial application. Therefore, his application would be processed within three days. During the application, the client was hesitant to share documents needed to apply and be processed promptly. Building this foundation of trust with this client was especially difficult. It required me to continuously reassure him of the process and convince him to understand the importance of his cooperation. After much attentiveness, we were able to complete his application. I ensured to continuously check the status of his application. Thankfully, the application was processed and approved within three days. He was also able to pick up his EBT card from his local DPSS office and purchase food that same day.

When I made the phone call to inform the client that he was approved, he expressed the need to be able to obtain food for that day. I explained that the EBT card would be mailed to him within 3 to 5 business days. I also explained that an EBT card could be requested and picked up at the nearest DPSS office. The client then explained that connecting with an eligibility worker was very difficult her him. I went ahead and contacted an eligibility worker at DPSS and connected him on the other line. An EBT card was requested, and he was able to pick up his card and purchase food that same day. The client was so grateful and continuously thanked me for the support and encouragement I provided through this short but overwhelming experience. I informed the client that StLRS would continue to provide support to him as long as he needed it. I also informed him that a renewal for his case is required to be done every six months. I reassured him that this service would also be provided by StLRS, and we are always one call away.

17 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Turning Around Uncertainty

As a navigator for the Health and Wellness department at Catholic Charities of Orange County (CCOC), I support clients with Medi-Cal and CalFresh, assisting them with applications, renewals, and any p

A Helping Hand for a Family in Need

Catholic Charities of Orange County (CCOC) provides a variety of services in Orange County to those in need. The Health and Wellness Team often receives calls for other CCOC services. When this occurs

An Outreach to the Mobile Home Community

Every month during the summer, U.S. Representative Lou Correa partners with Catholic Charities of Orange County (CCOC) to engage with their local community. Representative Correa's team organizes vari


bottom of page