In late 2014, the County opened a Health and Human Services Center in the City of Winters. This enables nearby residents to access health, employment and social services locally rather than after an hour-long bus ride.
On October 24th, 2016 Yolo County's Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) expanded services provided in Winters, re-designating the Winters satellite office as the Benefits Service Center. The team now helps residents over the phone, in addition to in-person consultations. Three new Spanish-speakers have joined the team, connecting more of the population to much-needed resources.
In the month of October alone, the center connected 69 families with CalWORKS, a program that provides cash aid and services for eligible California families in need. Additionally 651 residents received assistance in accessing CalFresh, which provides individuals and families with electronic benefits to supplement their food budgets, just like food stamps.
The Benefits Service Center also helps residents gain access to healthcare, both by providing direct services, and by connecting them with Medi-Cal, a public health insurance program that provides medical services to low-income residents in California. In October, 2,330 individuals received assistance with obtaining Medi-Cal. The center’s direct services include immunization clinics every other month and health programs for women and children twice per month, serving an average of 64 families each month. Mental health services include resiliency programs provided by RISE Inc. for the prevention of psychological disorders among children and youth, and connection to HHSA Adult & Aging Branch for adults with serious mental illness who need full service care.
The HHSA team in Winters also helps individuals find work and develops employment opportunities in the region. Over the summer, the team helped 175 individuals find jobs at Mariani Nut Company. In order to create jobs in the hospitality and tourism industry, HHSA has convened a workgroup, and the Yolo County Office of Education is collaborating with local businesses to ensure that education aligns with employment needs.
In late September the team received an email stating “Thank you for helping me on my resume and on applying on jobs. Just sending this e-mail to let you know that I found a good job here in Winters. I got a job as a Pharmacy Clerk. It’s a good opportunity for me to get experience.”
The Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency continues to seek innovative ways to meaningfully serve the 7,000 residents in the City of Winters and the surrounding community.