How do you get food stamps in San Diego if you have no proof of residency? (1 Viewer)


Nov 1, 2011
I was looking on the website for how to apply and it says they have to verify identity and that you must be a California resident. If I tramp it out there, how can I get food stamps or somehow prove "residency".
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Emperor of the North Pole
Lifetime Supporter
Nov 4, 2006
Current Location
Mostly in New Bedford, Mass when home.

I think this has the rights for homeless people trying to get EBT/SNAP. Since this is a federal program under the USDA there are some common threads regardless of State. I have heard crazy things about how California administers its SNAP program. The ability to use SNAP at restaurants & or for hot food comes to mind. I have heard that if you attempt to use your card outside of a specific area then it gets cancelled. The very nature of being homeless involves being transitory. I have only heard this & not witnessed it. MY SNAP benefits from Massachusetts have worked for me in every State that I have ever traveled to & or had funds on my card. I have never had my benefits cancelled while on the road using the card in multiple states. I am sure if they send me some follow up form whil I am away then that will be reason to get cancelled & need to recertify & or reapply.

I have been receiving EBT on & off for the last decade+. In my case it sure helps to be "housed" & not "homeless". Having a base of operations & tan existing paper trail in the system seems to help make the process easier. It was much harder the first time I applied. When I reapply I update all of the photo IDs of myself & my wife & have to resubmit landlord verification, utility bills, social security cards etc.

I think that this link shows that your case worker can use many sources to prove identity but its probably not a bad idea to do some footwork yourself. I think that once you get used to filling out paperwork with these types of agencies that the whole process becomes second nature. Having as many basic documents & ID from elsewhere surely helps. I would guess that would be the first step & then pressuring a worker to do a little work on your behalf.
Last edited:


Subverting from within
Staff member
Oct 15, 2013
Current Location
Bellingham, WA
One way to prove residency if you're homeless is by having a note from a resident of the city (someone with an actual address) saying that you're living in the city. If you don't know anyone there, I was told you can have an employee at a store or library you go to frequently write the note for you. When I got my California EBT, I ended up asking a driver who gave me a ride while I was hitching. I got the note, dropped it off at the office, and left the state a couple days later. I've been using it out of state for about four months and they just cancelled it.


I'm a d-bag and got banned.
Dec 4, 2014
Current Location
en route
cali is easy. :) Take it from a native. Ive gotten snap all over the north country. most counties dont give you a hard time. if youre homeless youll get expedited snap. They know most homeless dont have everything needed to jump through hoops. Minimum: Get a mailbox at the post office or at a homeless center. Get a library card and have the library mail you something. This can be used to prove residence.

Matt Derrick

Staff member
Aug 4, 2006
Current Location
Walla Walla, WA
i dont recall ever having to prove residency for food stamps in california, but maybe that was because i was in slab city most of the time (niland is very easy). they let me use general delivery in niland for getting any paperwork.

Matt Dawg

Alone in the world with a little Matt Dawg!
Sep 23, 2014
Current Location
Nashville, Tn
I got my food stamps while in San Diego pretty easily. I didn't have to provide proof of residency, I just wrote "homeless" on the address line and got my ebt card before I even left the building.


I deleted myself
In Oakland they give you your card same day and you can get GA which is cash assistance, $600 in three $200 payments usually. The worker will tell you you have to go to some 3 hour class to get the cash but neither me nor my road dog went and we both got it.

They did want to take a scan of my thumbprint with this sketchy device to get the GA but they'll give you SNAP either way. This was two or three years ago, I would imagine it's still the same.

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