Department of Human Services to close 61 Family Community Resource Centers
The Department of Human Services will temporarily close 61 Family Community Resource Centers and expand its phone and online services for clients during the new coronavirus pandemic, the agency announced Monday.
There will be 14 facilities kept open in the state, which help connect individuals and families to nutrition and medical supports. Centers that remain open will reduce staff by up to 50 percent, in addition to adding additional steps to ensure social distancing.
“This is not a decision we make lightly. However, we have to balance the urgent needs of residents facing hunger and poverty with extremely serious public health directives,” Secretary Grace Hou said in a statement. “Even as many IDHS offices close, our state’s safety net remains available.”
Health officials said the move strikes the right balance between protecting employee’s health and ensuring those in need of services still have access to them.
“It is essential to try to balance the safety of people needing assistance, the workers who serve them and the general public in the effort to control the spread of the virus,” said John Bouman, president of the Shriver Center. “It is also essential to get vital services to people with heightened needs in this difficult time. (The department’s) plan for how to address all of these factors appears to strike the right balance.”
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