WSCAH’s Social Service Department
WSCAH created its Social Services department to provide customers with a comprehensive suite of benefits to aid them on their paths to self-sufficiency. Benefits include referrals to access shelter, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, financial counseling and tax preparation, educational programs, immigration legal assistance, and sign-ups for health insurance, SNAP, SCRIE, and DRIE.
Every new WSCAH customer goes through a detailed intake to assess their eligibility for benefits. To ensure all of WSCAH’s customers continued to be thoroughly screened for eligibility for life-stabilizing benefits and services during the pandemic, WSCAH’s social service provision transitioned from in-person to virtual engagement. All WSCAH customers across the 5 boroughs of NYC can now safely access needed benefits and services from the comfort of their homes.
In the last year, WSCAH has connected our customers to 4,553 benefits, including health insurance, SNAP (Food Stamps), and unemployment relief.
In total, our Social Service Department has secured access to nearly $5M in cash benefits and provided indirect support to countless others through training and partnership support and information sharing in the most COVID-affected communities.
If you work, you can apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit. We can help you with Public Assistance, HASA, Social Security benefits, rent increases, and exemption programs.
If you are not insured, we can help you enroll in a health plan, find a doctor, and obtain prescription drugs. We can also help you find an affordable clinic to receive the medical services you may need.
Food & Nutrition
You may be eligible for SNAP (Food Stamps), Women Infants and Children (WIC), Free or Reduced School Meals. We can also help you find senior meals, food pantries, and soup kitchens in your community.
Education & Job Training
West Side Campaign Against Hunger can refer you to many programs: English as a Second Language Classes, child care, resources for special needs, job training, and resume assistance.
Housing & Homelessness
West Side Campaign Against Hunger can refer you to housing services, and provide information on supportive housing, legal advocacy, and other options.
A 54-year-old man visited WSCAH’s 86th Street Market in late April 2020. He had been hospitalized with COVID-19 and double pneumonia in early March. Upon his release, he was required to self-quarantine for 3 weeks to ensure full recovery, and consequently lost his employment and fell behind on his rent. When he first came to WSCAH he was in dire need of food assistance and owed over $4,000 in overdue rent.
With the help of WSCAH’s Social Service Department, he was approved for HRA One Shot to cover his unpaid rent. He was also able to get a Fair Fares Half-Priced Metrocard and access to $194 in monthly food stamps (SNAP). He had also been struggling to navigate the unemployment system. He had applied 2 months prior, but his status remained pending. WSCAH was able to help him fully process his application, and he not only began to receive regular benefits but also was provided with 8 weeks of back pay for a total of $7,712.
The help he received from WSCAH provided him with much-needed stability, allowing him to keep his home and access healthy food. He now refers all of his family and friends to WSCAH’s Social Service Department.