The CalFresh program has the power not only to provide financial assistance for monthly food budgets, but also mental and emotional relief and reassurance. It greatly benefits those in need, especially to alleviate individuals and families by making it easier to purchase food. Unfortunately, in many communities, cultural and linguistic barriers prevent families from obtaining the assistance they need. This was true for a client served by St. Louise Resource Services (StLRS) at an outreach event at All People’s Community Center (APCC).
The client explained to the CalFresh Outreach assister that she had been struggling with seeking assistance due to many factors, such as stigma, fear, and linguistic barriers. She explained that she’s been working since the moment she arrived in this country to provide for her family, and that receiving assistance from any government program was out of the question. It was a cultural principle to work for what you need. With kindness and empathy, I was able to get the client to open up about her struggles. She shared that her husband had been deported and she had lost her job, which now placed her in a position to ask for help. When the assister met the client at APCC, she had been having difficulty obtaining CalFresh benefits for over a month. She had 3 children to feed and bills to pay. The client was met with compassion, understanding, and quality service at StLRS.
Immediately, the assister was able to assist the client with her case. After taking the time to explain what CalFresh was requesting from her, the client was able to collect the proper documents for submission. In the span of 3 days, StLRS was able to set-up her interview and get her case approved. “From the moment we first spoke, you were so friendly and understanding. I’m confident in your services and am certain I will receive help”, expressed the client. She was so happy and thankful to StLRS that she began recommending family and friends. This client’s word-of-mouth referrals have created a chain of support for those who need assistance with CalFresh. “Other places leave you waiting, and [at StLRS] they never do that. Thank you for the love you have for people and for helping. It benefits us all.”