Quality and Compassionate Service Leads to a Chain of Support

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 in alleviating individuals and families by making it easier to purchase food to feed their loved ones. Unfortunately, in many communities, cultural and linguistic barriers prevent families from obtaining the assistance they need. This was true for Ana Yojcom, a client that Carmen, a St. Louise Resource Services (StLRS) Family Services Coordinator, met during an outreach event at All People’s Community Center (APCC).

Ana explained that she had been struggling with seeking assistance due to many factors, such as stigma, fear, and linguistic barriers. She elaborated 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. For many immigrants, it is a cultural principle to work for what you need. Listening to her with kindness and empathy, Ana felt comfortable enough 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 Carmen met her at APCC, she had been having difficulty obtaining CalFresh benefits for over a month. She had three (3) children to feed and bills to pay. Ana was met with compassion, understanding, and quality service here at St. Louise Resource Services (StLRS).

Immediately, Carmen was able to assist her with her case. After taking the time to explain what CalFresh was requesting from her, Ana was able to collect the proper documents and send them to Carmen for submission. In the span of 3 days, Carmen 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 Ana. 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.”

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