Department of Public Social Services?

Am I actually going to Department of Public Social Services right now? I walk into the building in West LA half expecting to find a room reflecting that of Law and Order. We’ve all seen it in tv… Sad, dark, depressing, the sound of children crying/screaming while tired parents comfort them. I’m terrified- I actually get of the elevator at the wrong floor I feel so nervous.

When I get off at the correct floor everyone looks happy. A nice woman at the front desk directs me to the line to check in. When it’s my turn she kindly asks my name and birthday… And then asks me how my days going!

I take a seat and I’m surrounded by so many different kinds of normal looking people. An African American woman plays with her little ones. A stylish Asian woman texts on her phone. A young couple holds their baby. A Jewish man wearing a yamaka reads a magazine. And then there is me- I’m blogging. 🙂

If you’d asked me 6 months ago if I’d be going in for government support I would have said no way. I’ve always agreed with the idea of government aid- I spent a lot of time in Canada growing up and they’re doing something right when it comes to caring for citizens. It’s incredibly important for people to support their government and the government to support the people but I never thought I’d be the one receiving the support.

So far it’s been a simple process. I researched online after being pushed by the friday night group to look for programs. CalWORKS and CalFresh seem like the best for us. CalWORKS specializes in families with deceased and/or absent parents. The online paperwork took about 45 minutes to put in my info and my siblings info. 4 days later I received a letter with my card and an appointment that required specific documents. The document list was long but I have a ridiculously organized filing system so it was easy enough to pull everything together in less than an hour.

Fingers crossed the rest of the process goes smoothly and we will be getting aid shortly.

Oh and a baby cried once so far- his mom handed him Cheerios and he stopped. Now he’s playing catch with a man waiting across the isle from him. This is not a scary place.

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