Adam Strawbridge, JDC Volunteer Coordinator
JDC is pleased to recognize November’s Volunteer of the Month, Brady Dalton, a clinical psychologist who volunteers with the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP).
Dalton has volunteered with HAP for two years, providing comprehensive psychological evaluations for clients so they can obtain much needed benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). Claiming benefits for mental disability requires clinical documentation that many HAP clients do not have. Dalton, who works for the SSA as a medical consultant and medical expert, works with clients to provide clinical evaluations and the necessary documentation to obtain benefits.
Dalton approached HAP after noticing this unmet need: that the people most in need of disability benefits often could not get the requisite evaluation to claim benefits. By volunteering with HAP, he hoped to work directly with people who are homeless and use his skills for underserved Bay Area communities.
There are times when it is challenging for Dalton to witness the need, saying “People are not receiving the benefits that they are entitled to so they are extremely financially strapped and often without a place to live.”
Still, he always finds validation and reward when he is able to contribute to a client’s disability award. It’s especially fulfilling, he says, “when clients are awarded disability benefits that they truly deserve, and knowing that I had a role in that and also that I am keeping my clinical skills up.”
Dalton has lived in the Bay Area for three years, after earning his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Arizona School of Professional Psychology. Aside from his work at the SSA, he also teaches graduate students in psychology. Outside of his professional life and volunteering with HAP, Dalton is an avid scuba diver, vacationing often around the South Pacific and Mexico.