When Queens’ resident Wilson had an accident while on the job, he was left disabled and unable to work. He eventually lost his social security benefits, and could not afford basics that he and his wife needed, like food.
“Everything was bad, my financial situation was very difficult. I needed help.”
Wilson was facing hunger and in desperate need of assistance, and so turned to Public Health Solutions’ SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) enrollment services co-located at our Corona Neighborhood WIC center. Public Health Solutions (PHS) has 10 SNAP locations in New York City. This federal program responds quickly and effectively to support nutritional needs for low-wage working families, low-income seniors, and people with disabilities living on fixed incomes.
Our SNAP counselors help clients like Wilson to enroll in SNAP to purchase the food they need. SNAP is an essential program primarily for the working poor, as well as the temporarily unemployed, who use SNAP as a supplement to make ends meet during times of crisis and increased need.
At his lowest point, Wilson received the kindness and support he needed to navigate signing up for crucial benefits.
The clients we serve are as diverse as New York City is. Our SNAP enrollment services are language, literacy, and culturally appropriate for the communities we serve. Wilson speaks most comfortably in Spanish, and so was greeted by bilingual counselor Eufemia Torres. Since PHS’ Neighborhood WIC centers are collocated with additional services, including WIC and health insurance enrollment, Wilson was also able to quickly enroll for Medicaid.
“Ms. Torres helped me a lot with SNAP and Medicaid forms,” Wilson remembers.
“She was very professional and helped me fill out all the necessary paper work I needed to get food. I trusted her because she speaks my language. I felt comfortable with her, and that she truly understood how I needed help. ”
PHS’ SNAP dollars put food on the table for 20,000 individuals a year. It has been called the cornerstone of the nation’s nutrition safety net because it is one of the most important programs in place to prevent hunger and food insecurity. Our SNAP counselors will go the extra mile to ensure their neighbors have the basics they need to live their healthiest lives despite their financial situation.
“If the center did not exist, I do not know what I would have done. The SNAP process would have been too complicated for me to enroll by myself. We just did not know how the SNAP process worked.”
Today Wilson boasts a more stable life for himself and family, since he is able to use SNAP and Medicaid benefits.
Wilson says of all the PHS staff that helped him, “It is clear they have a great desire to serve my family and the community.”
Our passionate staff impact people’s lives at the times they need it most. With your support, Public Health Solutions can provide even more services to New York’s most vulnerable community members. Your unrestricted contribution supports our work in helping vulnerable families and communities in New York City to thrive. Become a committed donor today.