76. What other special help can homeless people receive?
Duty to extend special help to the homeless: Food stamp offices must have special procedures that serve homeless people (as well as the elderly and disabled, for that matter). [7 C.F.R. § 273.2(a); MPP § 63-601.11.] The food stamp office must help get the food stamps to the recipient each month. [7 C.F.R. § 274.2(a); MPP §63-601.11.] While this is less of a problem with the emergence of the Electronic Benefit Transfer system for distributing food stamp benefits, counties still must help recipients get their EBT card. For example, the food stamp office may help the recipient by finding him or her an authorized representative, or by mailing the EBT card to a shelter, or by allowing the recipient to pick up the EBT card at the office, or by using “any other appropriate means”. [7 C.F.R. § 274.2(a); MPP §63-601.11.]
Outreach to the homeless: State food stamp agencies can get federal money to do outreach to homeless people to help them get on food stamps. [7 C.F.R. § 272.5(c).] California has adopted a homeless outreach program. [Welf. & Inst. Code § 18904.2 et. seq..] The law requires that the state agency develop materials on expedited service (emergency food stamps) for the homeless, and give the materials and the shortened application to homeless shelters for use with their clients. [Welf.& Inst. Code § 18904.25.] The law also requires local county welfare departments to offer annual food stamp training to homeless shelter staff. [Welf. & Inst. Code § 18904.25(b).]
Homeless youth who are not living with their parents or under the control of an adult can get food stamps on their own. [7 C.F.R. § 273.1(b)(1)(iii); MPP §63-402.141.] The income of their parents must not be used in calculating eligibility. [7 C.F.R. § 273.1(b)(1)(iii); MPP §63-402.141.]