Client Story: Sophie

There are many third-party programs available to assist low-income persons, but most of us simply do not know they exist. Consequently, one duty of Coastside Hope’s outreach case manager is to provide presentations at local low-income and senior housing complexes. Some are informational only, explaining Coastside Hope’s services or describing the dangers of payday lending and phone scams. Others are more hands-on, like the HEAP workshops at which our case manager provides immediate assistance applying for PG&E’s low-income utility assistance program.

One senior in crisis approached our case manager at a workshop. “Sophie” had just received a 48-hour shutoff notice from PGE. She planned to use a payday loan to keep her lights on. Sophie did not know that the HEAP program existed, or that our case managers can expedite emergency requests. By the end of the workshop we had expedited her application and a pledge for the entire bill amount was placed on her behalf, averting the crisis. Sophie did not have her power shut off, received a permanent reduction to her bill, and was protected from predatory payday lenders.

Thanks to your support,
Coastside Hope kept Sophie’s lights on and protected her from the predatory interest rates charged by payday lenders

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