For Immediate ReleaseSeptember 29, 2017
More public assistance available at San Rafael office
San Rafael, CA – The County of Marin’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is improving customer service by extending hours at an office that helps visitors with food assistance, employment and temporary financial support.
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 November 2 as part of a pilot program. The pilot 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,” said Social Services Program Manager May Rodgers. “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 extended hour 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 scheduling enhancement is one of the many improved customer service features that the program is offering. This month, seniors will be 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 will assess customer service during the course of the pilot and see how helpful the extra hours are to clients. From there, HHS will evaluate whether the extended hours can be a permanent option.
“Studies show that if you tell someone to come back the next day they will more than likely not return,” said Social Services Director Kari Beuerman. “We hope that by extending hours we can capture these people and get them the benefits and assistance they need right away.”
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.
Kari BeuermanAssistant Director Health and Human Services
20 N. San Pedro RoadSan Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-6769Email: Kari BeuermanMarin HHS website