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To help make "ends meet," it's possible to get some food, healthcare and monetary assistance from federal, state, county and city programs, often managed by each county's social services agency.

Firstly, there's the Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) program: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/ssa/debs/calworks/Pages/refugee...

Here are some other California refugee programs: http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/refugeeprogram/

List of other refugee programs: http://www.visaus.com/benefits.html

Next, food aid (food stamps) is called CalFresh (req 5 yrs of residency for noncitizens)

After that, there's MediCal (state-run health insurance available at the county social services agency) (unsure of requirements)

Lastly, General Assistance (emergency cash, a pittance) (only 15 days of residency is required). You can sign up for it at a local social services agency office.

Here's the main website for Santa Clara county: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/ssa

(Beware of name clash: federal Social Security is also called SSA. I hear any sort of Social Security benefits usually takes a very long time and lots of paperwork to get.)

GA policies: https://www.sccgov.org/ssa/general/gachap06.pdf

Other California counties' websites are listed here: http://www.counties.org/

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