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Kern County Department of Human Services

Website: http://www.co.kern.ca.us/dhs/CalWorksSafetyNet/general_assistance.html

Bakersfield, CA - 93307
(661) 631-6807

Full Description:

Although mandated by state law, General Assistance (called "General Relief" in some counties) is the one county-only program. There are no federal or state dollars in its funding. Persons covered are the indigent and dependent poor who are not eligible for any other assistance program. General Assistance is the "program of last resort."

Beginning in 1995 rent and utilities for General Assistance clients are paid as vendor payments, that is, payment is made directly to the landlord or to the utility company rather than to the client. Additionally, vouchers for incidentals are issued.

General Assistance recipients must report changes in income, property, housing, living arrangements, family composition, or any other factor affecting eligibility. Failure to report these is a crime, punishable by law.

Interim Assistance may be paid for eligible disabled persons who are applicants for SSI/SSP. When the SSI/SSP award is made the county is reimbursed for this assistance.

Offices of the Department of Human Services are open for customer service Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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Tips For Prompt And Professional Assistance
1. Make an appointment - Always attempt to make an appointment. Oftentimes this will save you hours waiting in lines. When on the phone make sure you ask for the documentation needed in order to receive assistance.

2. Do not be late for your appointment - This tip should speak for itself.

3. Dress appropriately - If you want to be treated with respect, dress as appropriately as possible. We are not saying wear a suit. Just make sure you and your clothes are clean and non offensive. We have found that clients who dress in this manner have a better chance of receiving aid.

4. Bring all pre determined documentation - Bring all of the documents you were advised to bring from your appointment phone call. Without them, you will not receive aid.

Mission Statement
To help the needy find financial aid and assistance. This nation is going through tough times and providing a helping hand can help make the world a better place.