Read about WVCS's work in Your Community
A single mother's struggles
Norma is a single mother of two sons. Norma recently moved to a new apartment but became ill and was not allowed to work. Working as a full-time babysitter, she was instructed not to return to work until she was better to avoid getting a newborn baby sick. Norma would have been financially more stable but she had recently paid a deposit and her first month’s rent. She was out sick for a whole week with no pay which affected her monthly income. She had also depleted her savings in order to pay for the deposit. Over the last couple of months, Norma experienced traumatic life experiences that lead her oldest son to have to make use of mental health resources. Norma was able to re-enroll in the HPS program and receive financial assistance for her April Rent. Norma plans on using the food pantry regularly to help cut down the cost of food.
Jean has been out of work for the past year trying to improve her health. RYDE was able to take her to medical appointments which helped her improve her health enough so that she could start exercising again. She got back to work soon after that. WVCS through RYDE is able to take her from work and back home again. This has helped her stay in her current house and also afford for living expenses. She is also able to support her mother who lives in a care home.
A Thanksgiving Meal
Enrique is a homeless man who started using West Valley Community Services earlier this year. He has no source of income since being laid off. He started looking for resources for food and found West Valley Community Services from the internet. He became homeless because his family moved to another country and he is now the only one in the United States. He comes in and out of shelters and occasionally stays at his friends’ places. Enrique heard about the Holiday Program Registration from his Case Manager and was glad to know that he could receive a cooked meal for Thanksgiving. This was the first Thanksgiving meal he had in a long time. It is especially hard for him during the holidays and he is grateful for the support. Enrique was able to pick up his cooked meal on Thanksgiving Day thanks to West Valley Community Services and their partners.
Tanya has been a mobile food pantry client at West Valley College since July 2017. Tanya is a senior who is taking classes in her spare time to improve her English language skills. At one time Tanya was a live-in caregiver for an older gentleman. She was using the living room to keep her personal belonging and sleeping on the couch. Recently her caregiver informed her that his adult son was going to be living in the household and gave her notice to move out. Tanya immediately needed to look for housing and employment. Tanya’s case manager worked with her to create an action plan. The plan included ways to increase her income, apply for waitlists, and finish school. Tanya did not have any income and with the help of the case manager, she applied for public benefits. Once her benefits were reinstated she looked for a room rental. She was able to find a room and is paying 75% of her income as rent. Her case manager are working with her directly to find the best benefits possible and to apply for housing waitlists that will lower her rent while she increases her income.
Helping Senior Couples
Harry and Shelly are senior couples who immigrated to the Bay Area. They have one son who started school at De Anza College. They moved from San Francisco to Cupertino to be closer to their son. Back in their home country, Harry was an engineer, however, moving to the U.S. has made it difficult to find a job within his field. Shelly was an accountant and had to stop working due to a work-related injury. With help from their case manager, Harry was able to find a part-time job at a retail store. The retail job is their main source of income. Harry and Shelly found out about the TAP Bus Pass Program and enrolled to cut costs. The TAP Bus Program allows Harry and Shelly to save money on transportation and use the extra money on their rent. Shelly uses the TAP Bus Pass to come to West Valley Community Services to pick up their weekly groceries and other errands. Shelly and Harry are also applying to become U.S. Citizens and have been using the TAP Bus Pass to meet with the legal resources provided by her case manager. The TAP Bus Pass gives them hope about the future.