The Clovis Seniors Activity Center hosted the start of its Housing Resource Fair for tenants on Wednesday June 15th.
The resource fair was organized to provide current apartment tenants, owners and seekers in the Clovis and Fresno area a chance to connect with providers like PG&E and other groups like CalFresh so they can avoid the phone wait times and get direct help from resource fair representatives.
Mai Kou Yang, recreation specialist at the Clovis Senior Center, said the idea to have the resource fair came from calls requesting information about affordable housing and different listings in the Clovis and Fresno area.
“They’re looking for apartment listings in the Clovis and Fresno neighborhoods and they’re looking for prices because they’re looking to move. They are also looking for food assistance and utility programs and what is out there to help them,” Yang said.
For Yang, this event was one that the community badly needed. Originally predicted that less than 200 attendees would arrive at Wednesday’s resource fair, with Yang’s goal of reaching at least 200, and in the first hour and a half the goal was almost reached with the center for seniors filled with vendors and attendees.
The main concern of many Resource Fair attendees was to keep the cost of their bills as low as possible during the summer heat. That was also the goal of Lacey Gentry, a service representative for PG&E who was one of the vendors at the resource fair on Wednesday.
Gentry shared information about the basic medical discount offered by PG&E. What Gentry said is something that is often overlooked by many customers and could help them save money.
“Obviously it’s based on medical need, it’s not like the care discount where it’s based on income. A lot of them don’t know that we provide the medical basis and that’s another discount that they could use in addition to care because sometimes [customers] don’t even have the care,” Gentry said.
Gentry said the most frequently asked question from attendees was how they could continue to save money on their bills. She added that it comes down to what programs are available if they qualify, such as the aforementioned medical base.
“The medical basis that their doctor has to fill out this request, but it’s the most common question today, ‘how can I save money’.” Gentry said.
Yang said after seeing the large number of resource fair attendees, she feels it is “obvious” that this event is needed and will continue as an annual event to provide resources to the community.
“It’s a one-stop-shop for all of our different government agencies, different local vendors that have come out and our partners that have come out to provide the information to our elders instead of our elders going out and, you know, it’s frustrating, especially if you have one or more ongoing issues and you are unable to pay for certain utilities,” Yang said.