Few changes for PI dept. of human services office

ROGERS CITY — An official with the Presque Isle Department of Human Services said there are few changes planned in the next year.

Interim Director Julie Waldron said these changes were created to help people the department serves. Waldron discussed the state of the department at the regular Presque Isle County Board of Commissioners meeting Friday.

“Maybe some of you are aware, our assistance application to apply for a program is 42 pages long. It’s a very overwhelming application procedure is streamlining that application to 18 pages. The font is bigger and easier to read; it’s color coded. We’re excited it will be easier for people to apply for services,” she said.

She said the My Bridges online portal will have an expansion for navigation. There also will be a person assigned to someone if they need help with the computer, she said.

These changes will begin January 2018.

“What about the new legal changes?” Commissioner Stephen Lang said.

Waldron said the department has contracted with two private attorneys to use for legal services.

“There’s been movement toward that because the prosecutor has a conflict. So we have lawyers working on the same case in two sides criminal verses child welfare. In keeping with that our department has moved toward a private attorney. We have two attorneys that we have established a contract with effective Oct. 1. The county prosecutor, Ken Radzibon, will still handle juvenile delinquency and dual wardship cases,” she said.

During the meeting Waldron also discussed the most recent statistics about used services in the county.

“In the month of July there were 11 FIP (cash assistance) cases. The food assistance program served 796 cases for 1,432 recipients and payments of $146,371. State disability assistance was eight cases and totaled $1,718. Child development and care were 14 cases and 26 recipients for a total of $5,769. There was no emergency relief brought in. So unduplicated totals for programs put together, there were 806 cases, with 1,452 recipients with a total of $156,734 brought into Presque Isle County,” she said.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.