NEW YORK - Hansel Carballo, a 29-year-old dedicated to facilitating social services, holds a crucial role within the Department of Social Services - screening intake applications for New Yorkers seeking SNAP benefits.
As Carballo explains, "Most of them, they just already filled it out in the application. So I just make sure that the applications’ filled out correctly and that information matches the application."
But for Hansel, the job hits close to home. When he was young, his own family had to make one of those calls that he himself now screens.
"It's important because when I was a child growing up, I saw how city agencies came back to my home. So it's just really has come full circle for me," Carballo said.
Carballo's employment happened through an internship program with AHRC New York City, a non-profit that advocates for individuals who are disabled to lead fully rounded lives. Carballo has an intellectual disability, but at AHRC NYC people with any disabilities get assistance.
"It's a life-changing opportunity. They're earning money, they're in the community right now, becoming self-sufficient," said Steve Towler, VP of Programs and Business Development at AHRC NYC.
The organization has partnered with the City to ensure New Yorkers who are neurodiverse have equal opportunities in the job market as New Yorkers who are not.
Jennifer Shaoul, Executive Director of Disability Affairs for the Department of Social Services tells Fox 5 that "this is just a way to give people an opportunity, get their foot in the door and get things on their resume so that they can get other jobs. People need work experience to get jobs."