Single Stop provides financial assistance
Published: Thursday, May 10, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 10, 2012 15:05
Workers promoted the Single Stop program, a non-profit organization that gives students with financial needs access to local and federal resources, during an open house in SSC-106 on April 26.
The program encourages students in need of assistance to come by the Single Stop Office in SSC-106 and receive help with anything from finances to childcare.
Single Stop’s name comes from the idea that students can obtain help for all of their financial needs at one stop instead of having to go to several different places, and all of the services are free.
The program’s services are offered to all students in the Contra Costa Community College District, which includes Contra Costa College, Los Medanos College and Diablo Valley College, as well as students’ immediate family members.
Single Stop Manager and Director of National Site Management Teresea Archaga ran a Single Stop program for three years before she became the director of national site management. She managed Single Stop programs in 17 community colleges nationally and 68 in New York City.
“Since we started the program here at CCC, we have helped more than 100 students and filed more than 300 tax returns,” Archaga said. “We are more than just a program that helps with tax returns. We also help students with their financial problems, credit repair, getting a roof over their head, teaching how to budget and many other things.”
Archaga is a one-person show. She usually takes care of all the students when they come in unless a volunteer is working that day.
“I like to think of the Single Stop program as an extension of financial aid,” Archaga said. “We like to help students graduate college and earn their degrees. About 60 percent of students drop out of college because of financial stability and not being able to put food on the table.”
Single Stop came to the Bay Area three years ago when it set up shot at City College of San Francisco.
“In the last three years, 20,000 households in California received more than $60 million in benefits and services, but every year there is still about $100 billion of benefits still left on the table,” Senior Director of Site Management Stacey Cox said.
The Assistant Director of California Programs Palak Joshi helps Cox manage the state’s sites.
“We support the students and help them continue their education so that they can support their families,” Joshi said.
Joshi helps different sites reach their goals and helps manage relationships with local service providers.
“Students can come here and don’t have to go anywhere else,” he said. “It’s all confidential so I know it will make the students feel comfortable.”