Sacramento emergency helpline referral service.

The customer support team at the helpline in Sacramento directs residents of the county to a combination of non-profit and government programs. The agency operates as a referral service only and is useful to ending a crisis. However all agencies that participate will have limited funds and/or an extensive application process.

The main services offered will fall into different categories. There may be resources focused around meeting energy bill needs. Another focus is on homeless prevention as well as ensuring that no one in the region is threatened by hunger. Other support services are for senior citizens or people that live on a fixed income, such as the disabled or retired.

Energy programs

Homeowners or tenants (with the approval of their landlord) can receive assistance in making their residence more energy efficient through Weatherization. This is a federal program that will install free conservation measures in the property and help people make minor home repairs. Better yet, the program is free for those who qualify, though there is normally a fairly long waiting list in California.

Weatherization may provided for free air sealing in the attic, insulation, door repair, caulking, window repair, replacement of broken window panes, patching of a roof, weather stripping, and door sweeps. The total value of the updates may be up to several thousand dollars. Houses and mobile homes in Sacramento County are eligible regardless of location. Each household receiving assistance through the Weatherization program also receives tips on how to save money by using energy efficiently.

The emergency helpline can refer people to application sites for LIHEAP, or the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. This grant program assists qualifying households with a one time payment of up to their primary heating or electric company.

Any support for energy bills is limited, but there are some priorities. There tends to be aid for households in which every member is over the age of 65 or disabled. Some sites will process applications over the phone, and LIHEAP enrollment will usually start in northern California around October. All grants are paid out first come and served as well.




Referrals from helpline to cash assistance

Unfortunately this form of aid in Sacramento County is the most limited. The staff will try to refer callers to different agencies to try. They can range from churches to charities, and while many conditions are in place, the money may be used for some or all of the following.

Emergency services are aimed toward families facing a short term crisis. These will assist low-income individuals and families with immediate needs. Other support is for the unemployed or working poor in Sacramento.

Any crisis services from non-profit are designed to provide one-time support only. There may be funds for utility payments to prevent cut-offs, one time rent help to prevent homelessness, and emergency food to minimize malnutrition. In many cases non-monetary aid can address the crisis too, such as landlord or tenant mediation to find a solution other than eviction.

In general, Community Service Departments that partner with Sacramento emergency helpline work with low-income families to reduce the impact of poverty. Not only may funds be provided for some of those bills above, but the agencies will create a work-plan customized to the individual household needs. The plans can include Family Development Counseling; Work Experience Placement; Community Resource Coordination; and also Indigent Medication Assistance.

Government benefits in Sacramento County

The Sacramento crisis helpline can direct families to social service as well. Some of the primary ones in the community are as follows.





Head Start is available at many schools and centers. The program provides a comprehensive early childhood development process for low income families. Many of the clients are single parents or young moms. Head Start also provides services to children who may have special needs or disabilities. The exact make up of services includes Early Childhood Education, Free Dental Screenings/Care, and even free Healthy Meals.

Medical assistance is part of Medi-Cal. This federal program available in Sacramento California provides health insurance for low-income families. Beneficiaries will be pregnant women and elderly or disabled adults as well. This benefit can help pay a portion of a patients medical or dental bills. Other care can be for prescription glasses, dental cleanings, immunizations, and more.

Sacramento emergency helpline can direct callers to vouchers for Day Care costs. This are part of Social Services, and the county administers this child care assistance to low-income working families or those in job training. Some of these programs are only available to families who are enrolled in TANF or Head Start.

This is a subsidy only for those that meet eligibility requirements. Funding for child care programs is limited and a waiting list is often used in Sacramento County and really across the state. The goal of the voucher is to help low income families afford quality child care while they work towards self-sufficiency.

Cash grants are part of TANF, or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. This is short term financial aid for very low income families or those in poverty, and is known as Cal-Works in the state. The support will only last for months or a couple years at most, so most families must participate in job training, of which the crisis center can also offer information on. The grants can be used for paying for basic living expenses for short term needs.

For more information, the helpline can be contacted at 1-800-500-4931.



By Jon McNamara

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