Leslie Abraham is an alumna of Central Carolina Technical College’s Human Services program who is currently employed at the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) in Columbia in the Division of Program Support as a DSS Connect Agent. This department is the front line for the entire state for constituent calls regarding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
As our state works to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the economy has also caused businesses to close which leaves many without a reliable source of income right now. “Our motto is feed the people. If we were not here to help, what would happen to the citizens of this state who suddenly found themselves with no income? Our workload has significantly increased in call volume from those who have found themselves laid off, terminated or have had their work hours reduced due to the coronavirus. We are here to help those who need assistance with information regarding their SNAP or TANF benefits. There are about 15 agents answering between 950 to over 1000 calls a day right now,” says Abraham. When asked how she’s feeling mentally during this time, Abraham says, “Listening to people’s stories about losing their jobs and struggling to feed their families really got to me last week. I know that it was no accident that I have a job helping others at a time like this. I know it is all a part of God’s plan. In the midst of all of this chaos, I feel in my spirit that we will get through this. This is a time to reflect on what is really important in our lives. I am blessed to have earned my degree at CCTC and I’m thankful for what that foundation is doing in my life.”