For Immediate ReleaseNovember 13, 2017
More public assistance available Thursdays at San Rafael office
San Rafael, CA – Through a pilot program, the County of Marin’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been improving customer service by extending office hours to help visitors with food assistance, employment and temporary financial support. It has gone well enough since September that it’s being continued through the end of the year.
The Public Assistance Reception at 120 N. Redwood Drive in San Rafael will be open with extended hours, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., every Thursday through December 29. The pilot program is one of many new customer service changes designed to ease benefit assistance and program enrollment particularly for clients who have trouble making it to the office during normal business hours.
“We want to be able to meet everyone at the time that is convenient for them,” Social Services Program Manager May Rodgers said when the pilot was launched in September. “We are serving people who have challenges getting into our office, whether it is because of child care or that they hold several jobs.”
Rodgers added that she hopes the pilot will reduce the number of visits people make to the office by addressing needs with just one visit whether it be applying for food assistance through CalFresh, employment assistance and temporary cash aid, as well as short-time, limited financial support for housing, food, utilities or medical care.
The pilot is one of the many improved customer service features that the program is offering. Seniors are able to more easily apply for CalFresh with the Elderly Simplified Application, which reduces the paperwork from 14 from two pages. In addition, a new robust call center has allowed for more staff capacity, resulting in a call wait time for clients of just 5-7 minutes, down from about 45 minutes just one year ago.
Staff is assessing customer service during the course of the pilot to evaluate how helpful the extra hours are to clients. From there, HHS will decide whether the extended hours can be a permanent option.
Shuttle service is available via Marin Transit with the extended hours, with the last shuttle departing the office at 6:28 p.m. Thursdays.
For questions on the extended HHS hours, call 415-473-3400.
Kristen GardnerSocial Service DirectorDepartment of Health and Human Services
20 N. San Pedro Rd.San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-6263Email: Kristen GardnerMarin HHS website