We care

We care is a division of HRA. If you can’t work,we care makes that determination, if you need help finding employment they have intake specialist to help you get into a work force program to find employment while your collecting welfare.

You have to go to the office when they solicite you to go by mail or your benefits will get cut off.

The wait time is 4 hours. It’s about a two hour wait to see an intake specialist to be interviewed, and they are able to get a copy of your medical records, to prove your disabled.

Most of the time people who are sent to we care are disabled. The we care office is consistently packed with people waiting to claim their disability so they can keep their public assistance.

They have an office for the gainfully employed, and for people looking for employment. We care is their advocate for finding employment.

They have an SSI unit, and welcome the chance for you to challenge for federal funds and get off welfare if you’re proven to be disabled. Mental health issues usually are first in contending when It comes to disability, unless you have a doctors note for a broken leg, which I have seen in the we care office, there aren’t that many excuses to not working. Even having a baby and not having child care, they will expect you to find a way to come into office even if it means bringing your infant with you to an appointment.

My first time at We Care I didnt know what to expect. I sat and waited for almost 2 hours in the hair bucket chair in the waiting room, while on one tv behind me the channel 12 news was on, and to the right of me cartoons where on. Plenty of people in the waiting area on their phones talking about how long the wait was and why did HRA have to send them there.

They call by name, so every 10 minutes an intake specialist would come out and call someones name. The offices behind the steel door with the key pad to let the intake specialist in and out of the cubical like office structure with their client. The intake process is about 2 hours while they are on the computer tying away the information that is being given to them. They make the determination on weather of not your deemed disabled for welfare standards.

I was deemed disabled with the profile of Schitophrenia and given an appointment to start a profile for it, in their offices so I could have an advocate for SSI; I didnt have to do the phone interview with SSA. I ended up waiting for the call anyway with Ms. smith in the social services office. I waited an hour while Ms. smith was getting phone calls and text messages, she would tell her calls that she was expecting a call for a client on her phone, and she would call such and such back at a later time.

We care is a pain in the ass. Welfare isn’t a one shot deal for some cash in your pocket especially when its $45 dollars a month. The hoops you have to jump through in order to keep the $45 dollars month is more of a problem then applying for public assistance. But its needed as a client living in a shelter. You have to have some kind of resources.

The shelter is very good at helping you get back on your feet. If you need a job they point you in the direction of the local work force, even if your only recieveing public assistance. You get help from We care, but a few woman actually have no choice and spend much of their time going to we care every couple of days, and sitting in the computer room applying for jobs that having an Obama phone is a necessity when you have nothing. Getting the free metro card so you can go on interviews, isn’t so bad, its navigating the South Bronx that I find to be a hardship.

Some woman are not eligible for SSI, so they end up getting free work clothes from Ms. Mecca to go on job interviews for security positions and sign up to be a security guard and pay the $25 dollars and get a free uniform. They have to go out of their way like anyone for $9.00 an hour jobs for an income profile. They have to get permission to come back late from work, and sleep during the day if they work over night. I have seen one woman bust her ass as a security guard because she wasnt eligible for SSI or SSD. She said one day in the hall way that she wished she could have it so easy. She still can afford to make rent. She ended up moving into a shared apartment.

We Care is not to be fucked with, if you dont come in for your appointment they will close your HRA case, and yo have to start over again. So when I had nothing at all I was bing called every other week to the we care office on the grand concourse. I had metro cards given to me by the receptionist at We care, so I had a one way ticket to the office. My appointment time is always 9am, bright and early.

Even at 9am, your never the first one there, there’s a line behind the security desk, and you have to wait with your appointment slip in your hand to be checked in by one of the two receptionists.

“Take seat and wait for your name to be called” must get redundant after a while, she can say it in Spanish or in English, its still the same amount of time your waiting to be seen by intake. I think what goes faster is when your seeking employment. I was there my first time in the summer time, I just pulled out my word search and tried to enjoy the air conditioned office, but I was ready to go. My ass cought a cramp from the chairs, that the next time I was in the office I found a position to lean on myself and the arm of the chair and close my eyes, and wait.

I am not looking forward to sitting in we care any time soon, but now I have a phone and tablet so I can read on my tablet, or play on my phone to kill time. 6 months will be up in no time, and ill be right back on the welfare line.

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