The Work We Do: Helen Lopez, Community Action Southold Town

My name is Helen Lopez. I work for Community Action Southold Town, which is also known as CAST.

I’m the senior client support specialist here. I’ve been working here for about two years now.

My responsibilities here at CAST are to greet the clients when they come in, assist them with benefit applications and assist people with monetary donations if someone needs a car repair or rent assistance. Also, with the intakes we do for our food pantry and for other services that we have. It’s different every day.

I got into working for CAST because I was actually a client myself.

I have two young children and I started with the parent-child home program, which is also run through CAST.

It’s a program that helps the younger children before they go into the school. I was a stay-at-home mom, so for somebody to come into my home every week, it was nice. My kids really enjoyed it.

I got all the support from CAST that I felt like I needed at that time. I knew that there was an opportunity to work here, so I applied.

Just to know that there was an organization that helps people … I love to help people. That’s just who I am and what I’m about.

That’s what made me really wanna work here. I think my favorite part about working here would be just getting to know all the people that have come here.

Sometimes people come in and tell us what they did during the day, or sometimes they wanna hold your hand and they need to cry or whatever it is. But that’s what we’re here for.

We get about 200 visits a week and a little over 10,000 visits a year.

So we’re very busy and we do help a lot of people on the North Fork. We also provide for some people on Fishers Island.

I believe we’re a really great team. We all work really great together. We all try to really fulfill that mission to get everyone to be self-sufficient and also to provide a safety net for our clients.

We say “neighbors helping neighbors” because we’re all helping each other to make this one dream happen.

CAST is located at 316 Front Street in Greenport.

“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. It is made possible by Peconic Landing in Greenport. See photos on Instagram @thesuffolktimes.