Read the 2022 Annual Report:
Who We Are
The Homeless Action Center (HAC) provides high-quality public benefits advocacy for free to homeless and disabled residents of Alameda County. With legal representation, people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless are able to access the maze of social safety net programs that provide a pathway to a better life.
Founded in 1990, the Homeless Action Center (HAC) provides free legal assistance with a range of public benefits programs, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Medi-Cal, CalWorks, Cal-Fresh (food stamps) General Assistance (GA) and Cash Assistance Programs for Immigrants (CAPI). HAC also provides informal advice and referrals for non-benefits related legal issues.
Why HAC Is Needed
The social safety net was established to protect the lives of vulnerable individuals experiencing poverty. To give just two examples, Medi-Cal puts medical and mental health treatment within reach. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides modest, but stable, monthly cash support. It pays the equivalent of less than $6.50 per hour for full-time employment, which is enough to qualify for permanent supportive housing.
However, the application process for these benefits is cumbersome, complicated, bureaucratic, and even adversarial. The homeless people served by HAC are overwhelmingly poor, mentally ill, sick, and marginalized. Without HAC’s help, they could not navigate the maze of social safety net programs that provide a pathway out of homelessness.
With legal assistance, HAC’s clients begin to put their lives back together with sustainable income, healthcare, mental health treatment, housing, and restored dignity. HAC is the only program in the Bay Area that specializes in legal services to those who are chronically homeless.