Los Angeles County residents can find out about a wide range of social services available –from fresh food assistance to physical and mental health treatments– through a series of videos that can be watched online with closed captions in English, Spanish or eight other languages.

The county’s Department of Public Services (DPSS) created its “What is?” video series as a way to better utilize technology to help those seeking public assistance identify the specific services they may be eligible for.

Introduced just before the start of the pandemic, the “What is” videos proved critical in helping thousands of county residents seeking public assistance for the first time, due to challenges brought on by COVID-19.

Each video focuses on one particular program and highlights its basic eligibility requirements.

The videos are available online on Youtube and the Department’s website. Besides English and Spanish, subtitles are available in Armenian, Chinese, Filipino, Khmer, Korean, Persian, Russian and Vietnamese.

An introductory video to titled “What is DPPS” gives and overview of the agency and the series and is available in both English and Spanish:

The county agency says that residents having a general understanding of programs beforehand, thanks to the videos, has helped minimize the time spent processing applications for its array of social services. According to DPPS, this has allowed workers to be more efficient in supporting and processing as many applicants as possible.

“DPSS is the heart and soul of L.A. County,” said agency director Antonia Jiménez in a press release. “We will always be there for the millions of people who turn to us for help in their moments of highest need.”

The DPPS is the nation’s largest public social service agency, providing services to nearly a third of the county’s more than 10 million residents.

Alex Medina

Alex Medina is a graduate of Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School and 2018 alumnus of the Boyle Heights Beat. He is a recent graduate of Hamilton College in Central New York where he majored in Hispanic...

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