At POTS, clients are invited to speak with a member of our Next-Step Services team for assistance in accessing public benefits, supportive housing, financial counselling, legal support, employment, and other programs that may aid their path to stability and self-sufficiency.
POTS has experienced tremendous success in connecting those in need to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP provides food assistance to almost 2 million low-income New Yorkers, and POTS currently has two employees who dedicate their time to making SNAP easily accessible to families and individuals struggling with poverty. Some issues people have when trying to access SNAP are understanding if they qualify, what they will receive, how to apply, and how to use it. POTS’ employees meet with people one-on-one to explain how it works, answer any questions, and walk them through the application process.
One top of this, POTS’ staff participate in SNAP outreach initiatives at local community centers, senior housing facilities, centers for disability services, libraries, and social organizations where attendees receive on-site assistance. POTS’ Nutrition Outreach and Education Program coordinator, Josef Aguilar, notes that the goal is not only to fulfill the immediate need for SNAP, but to also begin a conversation on everything POTS has to offer.
At a recent event, Josef aided a disabled senior citizen with SNAP re-certification. Recognizing the individual’s need for immediate food and clothing, Josef invited him to visit POTS for additional assistance. He came to POTS to meet with Josef again that same week. During the visit, he received goods from both the food pantry and clothing room and participated in an intake assessment to help POTS’ staff identify the best next steps to provide support. Having certified professionals available to both meet with clients face-to-face and participate in outreach not only allows a wider range of people to access SNAP, but also POTS comprehensive set to services to combat poverty.
By Anna Brickman, Development and Communications Intern