Single Stop partner sites coordinate access to services that allow students to stay in school and graduate. When a student comes into the Single Stop office at their college, they are greeted by a college staff member, well-trained and supported by their Single Stop coach, who conducts a holistic assessment and helps the student navigate and access a variety of services, including:
Single Stop’s proprietary benefits screening technology allows individuals and families to simply and quickly screen themselves for financial aid, supplemental nutrition assistance, affordable healthcare, health insurance, housing assistance, and local resources, either independently or with the help of the on-site college staff member who is the Single Stop case worker.
If a client needs immediate help, has questions about the benefits application process, or is seeking other support, he or she can connect with the Single Stop case worker for counseling. The Single Stop case management system allows college staff to record clients’ information, challenges, suggestions, and successes—all in one place. Whether or not a client meets with the same Single Stop case worker, his or her data can easily be reviewed, creating a seamless process.
Each year, millions of Americans qualify for tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, but many do not even apply.34 Often affordable tax preparation help is unavailable, or students may not even be aware that such credits exist. Through Single Stop’s sites, qualifying students can receive free tax preparation, ensuring that they receive the right tax credits and refunds, secure the documentation that they need to complete the FAFSA and other financial aid documents, and gain financial stability and responsibility as they begin to build assets.
In partnership with community-based organizations and/or local pro-bono attorneys or legal volunteers, Single Stop offices provide free legal services and referrals that help clients resolve critical civil issues in areas such as housing/evictions, child care, health care, and immigration.
Taking financial education beyond literacy, one-on-one financial counseling provides individuals and their families with the skills they need to map out a long-term financial plan, cope with financial challenges (such as credit card debt and short- and long-term savings), and build lifelong money management skills.