Frequently Asked Questions
What is Single Stop USA?
Single Stop USA is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping financially vulnerable families and students gain economic mobility by connecting them to existing benefits and services intended for them.
How does the Single Stop program work?
When a person or a family visits a Single Stop office, they meet with a trained, experienced counselor. Using a Web-based software program called Benefits Enrollment Network (BEN, for short), a counselor can, in as little as 15 minutes, outline the benefits for which the family is eligible. We own BEN and have customized it to provide exactly the information we need. These benefits include food stamps, health insurance, child-care subsidies, tax credits, energy assistance, public assistance, and housing assistance. Counselors then guide people through the application processes. For those who have legal, financial or credit issues, and/or who need their tax returns done, the counselor arranges an appointment for them to see one of our trained specialists. If someone urgently needs assistance for food or transportation, our staffers know how to speed up the process; sometimes a participant can wind up with food stamps within just a few days.
What is its mission?
Single Stop USA is dedicated to helping low-income individuals and families in America achieve financial stability. To this end, we offer an innovative model that combines two essential components: customizable technology that simplifies screening for, and access to, a wide range of government resources and cost-free legal, financial and tax preparation expertise - all in one location in each of the communities we serve.
Is Single Stop connected to local and state government agencies?
We have good working relationships with key personnel at the local and national level but we are an independent not-for-profit organization. We do receive funding from established government programs such as the White House Social Innovation Fund.
How many families does Single Stop serve annually?
Single Stop served over 120,000 families in 2010 and helped to connect them to over $412 million in resources.
What are the most important benefits it connects people with?
SNAP/food stamps, publicly funded health insurance (Medicaid and SCHIP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), emergency cash assistance, federal housing subsidies and rent supports, child care assistance, help paying electric and gas bills, help paying phone bills, Head Start (for children), transportation cost assistance, and the earned income tax credit.
What specific services does it provide beyond benefits screenings?
Free financial counseling, free legal advice on issues such as eviction and immigration, and free tax return preparation.
Whom does it serve?
Low-income individuals, families and students who ask for help at any Single Stop office. In 2010, Single Stop helped over 120,000 households connect to over $412 million.
What populations is it focusing on helping right now?
Single Stop helps low-income individuals and families at trusted neighborhood community organizations, food pantries, hospitals and New York's Rikers Island jail. We also help community college students by using various grants, including the pioneering White House Social Innovation Fund, to open offices at leading public community colleges. We already have offices at six community colleges within CUNY (City University of New York) plus branches of City College San Francisco and Miami Dade College, the largest in the United States.
Why have you chosen community college students?
Community college students are among those hardest hit by the economic downturn in recent years but are also a group with great potential for economic mobility. Also, as little as $300 can be the boost a student needs to stay in school and get a degree or certificate. Finally, a single office in a single college is an efficient, scalable method for serving thousands of low-income strivers who represent one of the best hopes for climbing the ladder to the middle class in a single generation.
What states are Single Stop offices located in?
New York, New Jersey, California, New Mexico, Florida, and Louisiana.
Where does the funding come from?
Single Stop USA is supported mainly by large grants from foundations, charitable organizations such as Robin Hood, and federal grants. We also have obtained smaller grants from regional and family foundations and corporations, as well as individuals.
Do I have to be a student to receive services? Yes, you have do get a Delgado student to receive services. You can be part-time or full-time student. Even students from other Delgado campuses can receive benefits from Single Stop City Park.
How fast can I get benefits? Depends on the application process, some emergency benefits you can receive quicker within 2-3 days. Most government benefits state 30-45 day turn around.
How fast can I get an appointment with a Legal and/or Financial counselor? Counselors are generally on site 3-4 days a week. Appointments will be scheduled within 48 hours (2 days) from your screening date. Does not mean you see a counselors in 2 days, but you will be scheduled in two days and the actually appointment could be in a week. It is very important that you make it to all scheduled appointments on time.