Although word of mouth is the way many Indians learn about the council, the group also advertises its services on television, in bus ads in Ventura County and at social gatherings like powwows, Roybal said.
"There's so much need in the Indian community, but the Indian people won't come out to get services," Roybal said. She attributed their reluctance to seek help to a mistrust of government and a suspicion that they may be discriminated against.
"That's what we're trying to get through to them," Roybal said. "To come out and get help."
Wilfred Bia, the chairman of Candelaria's board of directors, said the group needs more funds to expand its programs, particularly those offering educational skills for young people.
"They really need the help, especially the young ones," Bia said. "They need skills and education."
For Candelaria's older clients the need is just as acute.
Genaro Ruby, 83, a Mission Indian who lives in Montalvo, first came to Candelaria 10 years ago. "Whatever little we get, it helps a little," he said as he loaded groceries into his car. "Candelaria is a good thing to have in the community. We would do all right, but it would be hard to get by without it."