Marcia, 66, has a history of mental illness and chronic homelessness. The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services’ Countywide Benefits Entitlement System (CBEST) team first tried to help her secure Social Security benefits for her in 2018, while she was recuperating at a County facility after being attacked on the street. This application, however, was not successful because her whereabouts became unknown. Once DHS was able to place her into housing, CBEST secured benefits for her, starting in April 2022.
Marcia was awarded the monthly maximum federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) amount and now resides in her own apartment where she enjoys gardening. She is no longer fearful of being attacked on the streets as she pushes her cart. In the past, Marcia often needed care in a hospital emergency room. Now, she has a safe and stable home, income, meal service, a case manager she trusts and can rely upon to schedule needed support, and care providers that she can reliably visit. In a phone call with CBEST staff, she joyfully expressed appreciation to everyone who helped her. “It’s wonderful to feel safe at night and to have a sense of peace inside,” she said.