Alameda County public assistance.

Families that need help in Alameda County can look into a number of public assistance and social service programs. Many of them are offered and paid for by the state of California, while some resources are funded by the federal government. Yet others are provided for directly by various Alameda County social service and government organizations. An extensive summary of the public aid is below. Or call 1.888.999.4772 to reach the social services organization.

Those who have who have no other means of support may be able to get help from General Assistance. This public program, which is required by California but is funded by the County of Alameda, can provide cash assistance to emancipated minors as well as indigent adults. While the amount of funding can and will vary, in general the maximum provided is a few hundred dollars per month. Also note that recipients of General Assistance who are pregnant, 18 to 21 years old, disabled or 65 and older may also be eligible for Medi-Cal health care benefits. Even if you are not eligible for Medi-Cal, residents of Alameda County can still receive medical treatment at the various county hospitals and clinics. Food stamps can also be offered to families that receive General Assistance.

California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids, or CalWORKs, will provide public assistance to Alameda County individuals provided they participate in work-related activities. The resource is offered as short term, temporary help when a family is faced with a crisis situation.




CalWORKs really includes a number of services and assistance programs for the needy. This can range from food from CalFresh, medical bill assistance from Medi-Cal, Employment Services, Child Health and Disability Prevention (CHDP) and transportation and childcare. More information on these social services are below.

The Alameda Food Stamp Program is known as CalFresh. It is the federal government funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and it provides assistance and vouchers for households to purchase nutritious food or groceries. The public food assistance provides clients with an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card (which is like a credit card) to purchase food at retail stores, supermarkets and even farmers markets.





Medical and health coverage and assistance is offered by Medi-Cal. Assistance is offered for families with children, public assistance recipients, pregnant women and children under 21 years of age. It is the states version of Medicaid for very low income Oakland area families.

The Department of Adult and Aging Services of Alameda County Social Services administers Medical Care for Elders and Disabled Adults. Health care assistance is offered for those who are disabled, blind, or aged. Low income individuals can get help paying all or part of the Medicare premiums, deductibles for certain low income individuals, and co-payments.

Healthy Families Medi-Cal for Children is a program that may be able to offer low-cost health and dental insurance coverage for children, ages 1 to 19. The state of California program offers dental, medical, and vision services to individuals for a small monthly fee called a premium, which may be a low as a few dollars per month. Medical services offered in Alameda County include:

  • Medical, physician, dental, and surgical services
  • Coverage for hospitalizations that are deemed to be medically necessary
  • Outpatient and inpatient services
  • Free or low cost prescription drugs
  • Family planning, pregnant women and child services
  • Well-child care services
  • Mental health care
  • X-ray services and lab work
  • Dental care and benefits, including diagnostic and preventive services
  • Vision benefits, including eyeglasses and annual exams
  • Occupational, physical and speech therapies

The Alameda County Veterans Service Office provides military members, veterans, their dependents, family members, and/or survivors with information regarding government veteran’s benefits and public aid. Veterans can also get help with filing benefit claims, waivers and appeals. Social workers and case managers from the county want to ensure people are able to obtain and maintain all available entitlements and benefits for which they are eligible.

The Alameda County Social Services Agency operates the veterans office in partnership with the Department of Adult, Aging, and Medical Services. They also work together under the direction of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

Employment services and job training is offered for the unemployed and people who are on public assistance. Case managers will motivate, support and prepare individuals and families that are receiving public assistance. Receive guidance including sufficiency through employment opportunities.

Employment services can be offered to CalWORKs recipients. Individuals are actually required by law to participate in federal government created and funded Welfare-to-Work activities as a condition of eligibility for benefits.




Alameda County has located within it several career and job centers. The EASTBAY Works One-Stop Career Center and associated programs can help make a difference and help meet the needs of Bay Area employers. All services are free, and a number of job and employment services are offered including

  • On-site recruiting from local employers, including individualized employer Job Fairs.
  • Pre-screening and training that can also help match job seeker's capabilities with employer needs.
  • Layoff processing, including meeting state requirements
  • Interviewing and use of meeting facilities
  • On-the-Job Training, internships, and skill building sessions.

Locations of Works One-Stop Career Center

  • 555 Ralph Appezzatto Memorial Parkway, Building P, Alameda, California 94501, (510) 748-2208
  • 24100 Amador, 3rd Floor, Hayward, CA 94541, (510) 670-5700
  • 120 Oak Street, Brentwood, California 94513, (925) 634-2195
  • 1918 Bonita Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704, telephone (510) 982-7128
  • 4071 Port Chicago Highway, Suite 250, Concord CA 94520, (925) 671-4500
  • 5020 Franklin Dr., Pleasanton, California 94588, dial (925) 485-5262
  • 415 Railroad Avenue, Pittsburg, CA 94565, (925) 439-4875
  • 9155 Liberty Street, Suite B200, Fremont, California 94538, (510) 794-3669
  • 330 25th Street, Richmond, CA 94804, (510) 307-8014
  • 1212 Broadway, Suite 100, Oakland, CA 94612, phone number (510) 768-4473
  • 2300 El Portal Drive, Suite B, San Pablo, CA 94806, (510) 374-7440
  • 39399 Cherry St. Room 1211, Newark, California 94560, call (510) 742-2323





Rent, eviction prevention, housing and homeless services are also administered by the Alameda County Social Services Agency. The government organization provides housing voucher assistance or cash aid to single adults and families who are at-risk of becoming homeless or those who are currently homeless. More of the money is for stopping evictions. The county also offers referrals to other rent assistance programs in Alameda County.

The Agency provides housing assistance for eligible qualified families through the CalWorks Program.Or they paretner with other local non-profits on the disbursement of public funds. The Alameda County government housing and rental program can provide families with permanent as well as emergency rental or housing assistance including move-in and security deposit assistance or motel vouchers.

If you are already in housing, cash may be provided for paying rental and housing expenses. If you are not currently living in a home or apartment, then a small cash allowance and emergency shelter may be offered for personal necessities. The Alameda County Social Services Agency works closely with county homeless shelter providers to provide emergency shelter and short term transitional and low income housing for homeless families and singles throughout the county.


By Jon McNamara

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