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General Relief Program

The General Relief (GR) program is a county-funded general assistance program for indigent county residents, which offers repayable benefits. The GR Program provides necessary assistance to eligible persons who are without resources to meet their minimum basic needs for food, housing, utilities, clothing and medical care.  The medical care is provided through the County Medical Services Program (see page 19).  GR staff also determines eligibility for cremation services, another County-funded general assistance program for indigent County residents.

GR housing payments are issued directly to the recipient’s landlord.  Food Vouchers may be issued directly to the recipient, but are only redeemable at participating grocery stores.  An allowance for personal needs such as soap, toothpaste and household paper goods is also available to eligible recipients and is issued in conjunction with the Food Voucher. 

Unless disabled, GR recipients must participate in the General Relief Work Program and actively search for employment in order to continue to receive benefits.  GR staff assigns each able-bodied recipient to a specific unpaid work assignment.  Work hours are determined based on the amount of assistance received.  Vouchers for food and personal needs are not issued until the completion of the work assignment. 

If the GR recipient is disabled, they must apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, State Disability Insurance (SDI) or any other potentially available income.  If a GR recipient is approved for SSI benefits, the County receives a payment to repay the benefits received.  GR recipients may also be eligible to receive assistance under the Food Stamp Program.