Sacramentans Applying for More Public Assistance

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, August 14, 2008

Officials say a bad economy is the main factor driving more people to apply for food stamps, subsidized housing and the CalWORKS program.

Bruce Wagstaff is the director of the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance. He says since last year food stamp demand is up about 25 percent. 
“We’re seeing more clients who are coming in the door who are working. They’re working but because of the pressures on their budget are having to turn to food stamps.” 
Wagstaff says CalWORKS – also known as welfare for families – saw a 10 percent increase. And, general assistance needs for short-term cash payments and social services are up 30 percent. Wagstaff says this comes at a time when the county cut 35 positions in his department. He says so far the staff shortage hasn’t increased wait times. But, he says, that could change once the state passes a budget that could slash even more services.