Letter to the Editor: Holiday Programs for Low Income Residents Need Better Outreach

South San Francisco, CA  December 1, 2017  

Dear Editor,

I just wanted to address a concern that I have. As a former volunteer at the former agency that handled the annual Holiday Program for low Income singles and families. Each year they served 800 plus families (1,900 in the household). I recall sending out over 5,000 fliers out to local schools, libraries, posting on local San Bruno Cable company. (Fliers were bilingual English and Spanish in SSF) and collaborating agencies.

 

The program was more people friendly. No one was turned away due to dead lines to sign up. etc. I think more people are in need; but missing the limited dead line dates. Or the information is not reaching populations they should be reaching. By September fliers were going out to the schools for the children to take home. The first week of October clients were applying all the way through the 3rd week of November. Resuming Christmas only applications until 3rd week of December to make sure no one missed out.

 

I can’t imagine why these cut off dates are not flexible. Life happens and some people are unable to sign up if they don’t know about it. I was fortunate enough to get a Turkey. But what must we do for Christmas? I think exceptions should be made or at least have a wait list available to call families who are in need.

 

It is very sad to see the lack of effort to reach out to those in need. It is Truly a huge loss to the community. Their should be some type of survey to show the need; how many people did get the holiday program announcement? How many never knew of it. It just seems that no one is concerned for these individuals that missed the sign up dates.

 

Things need to change and give everyone a fair opportunity to participate.

 

Signed,

A Concerned Resident

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