Health

Connecting People to Help

Many local families continue to experience difficult economic times, but for hundreds of San Diego County residents, life got a little easier this weekend when they were connected to existing programs that help families.

Many local families continue to experience difficult economic times, but for hundreds of San Diego County residents, life got a little easier this weekend when they were connected to existing programs that help families.

 

About 2,000 people participated in the WE Connect event Saturday at Sweetwater High School in National City. Thirty-nine employees from the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) were there to educate attendees about CalFresh (food stamps), CalWorks, MediCal, and other programs.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to help our neighbors in need during these tough economic times,” said Supervisor Greg Cox, San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “I would like to thank our community partners taking part in this resource fair.”

Established by former California First Lady Maria Shriver in 2005 and now run by The California Endowment, WE Connect brings together community organizations, businesses, government agencies, and schools to respond to the needs of individuals and families who are struggling to make ends meet. 

The goal is to educate Californians about the benefits available to them and encourage them to enroll in existing state and local programs for which they may be eligible. 

About 1,000 people stopped by the HHSA tables where staff talked to them about the programs, and walked them through the application process. A total of 450 applications were distributed during the five-hour event and 164 applications were submitted for processing.

“The WE Connect event is a great example of how community-based organizations come together to improve the lives of residents,” said Nick Macchione, Director of the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency. “We are proud to participate in an event that supports residents making healthy choices that lead to a healthier life and supports the County’s Live Well, San Diego! initiative.”

Currently, there are about 250,542 San Diegans receiving CalFresh benefits, 76,936 on CalWorks, 354,401 on Medi-Cal and 27,413 are enrolled in the County’s Low Income Health Program.

For more information about support programs and services available, call the County’s ACCESS Center at (866)262-9881.

José A. Álvarez is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact