Santa Clara public assistance.

Low income, unemployed, seniors, and disabled individuals in Santa Clara may be able to get help from public aid programs. A number of state and federal government resources can assist those that are struggling and that need help. The assistance available from the Social Services Agency is wide ranging and can satisfy a number of needs. The specific organization that processes applications and can provide information is the Santa Clara Department of Employment and Benefit Services.

Information and support is available at the department. The staff at this site can direct low income residents to financial assistance, nutritional, health care, and employment assistance. Services are available that provide high quality, professional services to income qualified families. The resources available for the public assistance recipients is intended to be short term. So beneficiaries will also be provided help in obtaining and keeping employment so that they can  become self-sufficient.

Programs will help ensure that basic needs are met. This includes the issuance of food stamps, cash assistance, and Medi-Cal. The county will work to reduce the number of hungry children/adults/families in Santa Clara County. Counselors will also work to promote various housing and rent assistance programs in order to help families move into permanent housing. The county will also try to increase the number of eligible resident who receive affordable and high quality health coverage. A summary of many of the resources available at the Department of Employment and Benefit Services and in California is below.

One of the most widely used program in the county is Cash Assistance for Families with Children, most often called CalWORKs. This public aid is for caretaker relative or the parents of an eligible child. The compensation can be used to pay for a number of needs, such as housing and living expenses.

This is Santa Clara Counties Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program. In addition to cash disbursements, it provides a number of other publicly funded services, including child care, Medi-cal, CalFresh benefits and job search guidance. Participants will need to be active in job training or seeking a new job, and any public assistance from CalWORKs is time restricted.




Job search assistance and seeker services are offered. The county will help people and offer them assistance in looking for or getting placed into a new job. They can get advice and support for developing effective resumes and cover letters, among other support.

Santa Clara County veteran services - Former members of our armed services can learn what health, education, pension, and vocational rehabilitation benefits are available to them. Many of these government programs will also support their spouses and other dependents. Veterans also receive priority when applying for job openings for a government position.

Free health care and dental coverage is offered to certain low-income families with children under 18 years of age from the Medi-Cal program. This is California’s main public health plan. Even residents that don’t qualify under this health care program may be eligible for other Medi-Cal programs with a share of cost or deductible due.

Employment Assistance is offered as part of CalWORKs Employment Services Program. The county and specialists will offer job-preparation services to CalWORKs recipients. This can include, but is not limited to, job preparation workshops, job-search, employment counselor guidance, and/or education or training. In addition, Santa Clara County and the state of California will provide transportation and other related support services.

Food stamps, known as the CalFresh Program, help the less fortunate and disabled in Santa Clara County. Aid is for single people and families with little or no income to buy food. People that are approved to receive CalFresh government benefits can buy their groceries and food by using a plastic card at a grocery store or another authorized store.

Refugee Cash Assistance Program is for Santa Clara residents that meet the Refugee status. Individuals may be able to receive public assistance. This is for those that qualify based on income and that don’t have minor children and families that do not qualify for CalWORKs.

Cash Loan for Adults, or General Assistance, may be a possibility for people that are not qualified for any federal government or state of California programs. It is a Santa Clara County-funded cash assistance program that helps couples and individuals that have no other means of adequate support. This is a short term loan and needs to be paid back to the county. If you are unemployed, the county may require you to work at certain pre-approved projects or job sites.





CAPI, or Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants, is for immigrants who are 65 years of age or older. It can also assist those that are disabled or blind. They may be eligible for public assistance through CAPI.

Santa Clara County Meals on Wheels can provide low cost, or maybe free, hot meals to the homebound and their spouses. Drivers will bring the meal right to your door, and it also provides an opportunity to have the elderly member checked up on. Call (408) 755-7680.

The Congregate Meals, also known as Senior Nutrition Program, offers free hot lunches and recreational activities at the centers listed below. The meals will be cooked on site or are catered by local food service vendors or restaurants. While a small donation is appreciated, it is not required. It can help offset the cost of the meal. The locations are as follows.

  • Campbell Adult Center, 1 W Campbell Ave. Campbell, 95008, phone: 408-866-2764
  • Self Help for the Elderly, 940 S. Stelling Rd. Cupertino, 95014, dial 408-873-1183 for information.
  • Gilroy Senior Center, 7371 Hanna St. Gilroy, 95020, 408-846-0428
  • Live Oak Adult Day Services, 111 Church St. Los Gatos, 95030, 408-354-4782
  • Milpitas Senior Center is located at 40 N. Milpitas Blvd. Milpitas, 95035, dial 408-586-3411 or 408-586-3424
  • India Community Center, 525 Los Coches St. Milpitas, 95035, 408-934-1130
  • Morgan Hill Senior Café, Centennial Recreation Center, 171 W. Edmundson Ave. Morgan Hill, 95037, telephone 408-762-6020 or 408-762-6061
  • Mountain View Senior Center, 266 Escuela Ave. Mountain View, 94040, call 650-964-6586
  • La Comida de California, 450 Bryant St. Palo Alto, 94301, dial 650-322-3742
  • Cubberley Community Center, 4000 Middlefield Rd. Palo Alto, 94306, telephone number is 650-854-8897
  • Stevenson House, 455 E. Charleston Rd. Palo Alto, 94306, main number - 650-494-1944 ext. 19
  • Santa Clara Senior Center, 1303 Fremont St. Santa Clara, 95050, call 408-615-3170
  • Alma Senior Center, 136 W. Alma Ave. San Jose, 95110, 408-275-1315
  • Almaden Community Center, 6445 Camden Ave. San Jose, 95120, call 408-268-1133
  • Alviso Senior Center, address is 5050 N. First St. San Jose, 95002, 408-928-5917
  • Asian Americans for Community Involvement, 2400 Moorpark Ave. San Jose, 95128, 408-975-2730 ext: 184
  • Berryessa Community Center, 3050 Berryessa Rd. San Jose, 95132, call 408-251-4581
  • Billy De Frank LGBT Community Center, 938 The Alameda San Jose, 95126, 408-293-3040
  • Camden Community Center, 3369 Union Ave. San Jose, 95124, 408-371-2888
  • Cypress Senior Center, 403 Cypress Ave. San Jose, 95117, telephone 408-241-5377




  • Eastside Neighborhood center, 2150 Alum Rock Ave. San Jose, 95116, call 408-937-3924
  • Evergreen Community Center is located at 4860 San Felipe Rd. San Jose, 95135. Call 408-270-1244 for information.
  • Gardner Community Center, 520 W. Virginia St. San Jose, 95110, 408-277-4761
  • Hope Rehabilitation Center, 1555 Parkmoor Ave. San Jose, 95128. Call the center at 408-282-0449
  • John XXIII Multi-Service Center, 195 E San Fernando St. San Jose, 95112, 408-282-8607
  • Korean American Community Services, 1800-B Fruitdale Ave. San Jose, 95128, 408-920-9734
  • Mayfair Community Center, 2039 Kammerer Avenue San Jose, 95116, 408-794-1077
  • Northside Community Center, 488 N. 6th St. San Jose, 95110, 408-510-5284
  • Portuguese Organization for Social Services and Opportunities (POSSO), 1115 E Santa Clara St. San Jose, 95116, 408-293-0877
  • Roosevelt Community Center, 901 E. Santa Clara St. San Jose, 95116, main phone 408-794-7555
  • The Salvation Army, 359 N 4th St. San Jose, 95112, 408-282-1165
  • Santa Clara Valley Blind Center serves meals from a center at 101 N. Bascom Ave. San Jose, 95128, telephone 408-295-4016 x 204
  • Seven Trees Community Center, 3597 Cas Dr. San Jose, 95111, 408-794-1693
  • Southside Senior Center, 5585 Cottle Rd. San Jose, 95123, call 408-629-9606
  • Willow Glen Senior Center, 2175 Lincoln Ave. San Jose, 95125, phone: 408-264-0915
  • Yu Ai Kai is based at 588 N. 4th St. San Jose, 95112. Call 408-297-4979
  • First United Methodist Church of Sunnyvale, 535 Old San Francisco Rd. Sunnyvale, 94086, 408-739-0833

To learn more on public assistance, the phone numbers and offices are as follows. Or call The Department of Employment and Benefit Services, which can be reached at 1-877-962-3633.

  • Central County region, 1867 Senter Road, San José, California 95112, (877) 962-3633
  • North County, 100 Moffett Boulevard, Mountain View, CA 94043, dial (408) 278-2400
  • South County, 379 Tomkins Court, Gilroy , CA 95020, dial (408) 758-3300


By Jon McNamara

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