Q&A with StLRS Client – Addressing the Stigma

It’s common for individuals and families to be held back from applying for benefits, such as Medi-Cal and CalFresh, due to misconceptions and stigmas. St. Louise Resource Services (StLRS) recognizes the fear and stigma surrounding government assistance and social benefits. In fact, we actively work to let our communities know that they are entitled to receive the benefits they qualify for.

Roxana Alvarado is our client, who like many others, was hesitant to apply for benefits like CalFresh and Medi-Cal. After being laid off, Ms. Alvarado was forced to consider receiving assistance but didn’t know where to begin. The system can be complex and overwhelming to the general public, which often leads to incomplete or denied applications. Through reassurance and the personal recommendation of a friend, she got in contact with StLRS.

Within 2 hours, her application was submitted and reviewed. She was approved the very next day.

Q & A with Roxana Alvarado

Q: Describe how you feel about the service you received here at StLRS and from Carmen, one of our Family Services Coordinators.

A: I’m very happy. I didn’t think anyone would be able to help me. I have never applied [to social services] because I’ve always worked for what I need. When I lost my job, I was referred to Carmen. I am delighted because she helped me obtain my [benefits] and now I can go to the store and buy my food.


Q: Before StLRS, how did you feel about navigating the systems to obtain health care and social service benefits?

A: Truthfully, I had never attempted to obtain benefits. I was always scared of asking for financial help. I have never done that because I have always worked in this country. And when I lost my job, [my friend] referred me to this organization to receive CalFresh benefits. I told my friend, “No no no, I prefer to work. I just can’t right now.” She continuously reassured me that it was okay to receive help since I needed it, and highly recommended StLRS. My friend passed along your contact information. I am so happy that your services are free, and that Carmen was able to help me receive my benefits.


Q: Would you recommend our services to others? If so, what would you tell them?

A: Of course, I would recommend you. When I encounter people who need assistance or help, I tell them about your organization. You understand the process and explain to [clients] why something does or doesn’t work. You tell the truth and help those who need it.

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