Single Stop Helps New Harlem Resident Get a Fresh Start

When Paulette Thomas moved to Harlem, she was excited about starting a new life. Unfortunately, her benefits didn’t make the move with her.

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"My Medicaid and my SNAP, they didn’t transfer," she explains.

Without access food stamps, her savings dwindled, and she struggled to pay her rent. She sought out Single Stop because she was worried about falling behind.

"I came in, I told them my story, I did the application," she recalls. Soon her benefits were restored. But that was just the beginning. Single Stop also helped her check her credit history, where she found several inconsistencies.

"I’m addressing some false information on my credit report," she says.  "I’ve been able to improve my credit situation."

Goddard Riverside launched Single Stop with the Robin Hood Foundation to connect low-income families with the millions of dollars of public benefits intended for them. It offers benefit assistance, financial counseling (including help opening a bank account and managing your money), legal consultations and social service referrals.

Once Thomas had her finances straightened out, she found out about paid internships at Single Stop. She applied and got one. Now she looks forward to the time she spends at the office assisting others.

"It helped my income and decreased my sense of isolation," she says with a bright smile. "Everyone here is very kind."

Now Thomas is training to be a home health aide. With her benefits in place and a new job on the horizon, her exciting new life is looking pretty exciting after all.