Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
FULL SERVICE OFFICE SET UP TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR RESIDENTS IN WESTERN MORRIS COUNTY TO GET SERVICES
Morris County, in partnership with Saint Clare’s Health, this week opened a new full-service County Office of Temporary Assistance in the Town of Dover, designed to make it more convenient for residents in central and western portions of the county to obtain needed government services.
Freeholder Director Doug Cabana, along with a host of dignitaries, cut a ceremonial ribbon on Monday afternoon to officially open the facility, located at 375 E. McFarlan St. in Dover.
Joining him were Saint Clare’s Dover Hospital CEO Dr. Alma Ratcliffe; Dover Mayor James Dodd; Mine Hill Mayor Sam Morris; and Dover Aldermen Steven Toth, Ronald Camacho, and Carolyn Blackman.
Also participating were Morris County Human Services Director Jen Carpinteri; County Office of Temporary Assistance Director Gary Denamen; and Kathy Martin, Acting Director of the Office of Medicaid Eligibility for the State Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services.
“This is an important step in bringing government to our residents, to making it easier for people who live in this part of the county to more conveniently and affordably get the services they need,’’ said Cabana. “We thank Saint Clare’s for being a great partner in this venture.’’
Saint Clare’s is providing the space for the new center through a minimal cost contract to the county
“We understand the importance of making services easily accessible,” said Dr. Alma Ratcliffe, chief executive officer of Dover Hospital. “Saint Clare’s is frequently looking for ways to better serve the community and were thrilled to partner with the county and provide this space, which is going to provide an essential service to our neighbors.”
The new Dover facility is located eight miles west of the county’s existing Office of Temporary Assistance in Morris Township, which is distant from rail service and has limited bus service. That can make it difficult and expensive for persons living in western sections of the county to obtain services.
A demographic study done by the county showed a need to provide easier access to benefits for some 4,500 needy county residents who could benefit from a more accessible location.
“On behalf of the residents of Dover, I want to thank the Freeholders and Saint Clare’s Health System for working together to bring much needed services to our area,” stated Mayor Dodd. “Morris County offers some of the best services in the State and having a vital resource so close to home is imperative to the health and wellness of our residents.”
Some of the clients at the new center may be Spanish speaking, so most of the staff is bi-lingual. Dover OTA Center Supervisor Miriam Acevedo gave a welcoming yesterday in Spanish and English to mark the opening.
As the county considered potential locations and a partner in the venture, Prime Health – the parent company of St. Clare’s – stepped forward to discuss the use of available space it owns in Dover.
The re-purposed 1,765 sq. ft. space in Dover will replicate the “one-stop shop system” that Morris County now operates at its main Human Services office building in Morris Township.
At the Dover location, the county will do initial interviews for all OTA programs and assist individuals who are computer literate to access applications on-line and file for benefits themselves. The center will offer Medicaid assistance and will have social workers available to help with housing issues and other social service needs.
Child support interviews will be done in Dover via Skype to caseworkers who will remain at the Morris Township office.
The Morris County Office of Temporary Assistance provides a variety of financial, medical and social services to persons and families who meet the necessary program criteria.
The staff gathers information and compiles supporting documentation in an effort to determine a client’s eligibility. We also provide information and referral services to other government and non-profit agencies who may be of assistance to clients.
Services Provided: https://hs.morriscountynj.gov/ota/
All aged, blind, and disabled, workability and long term care Medicaid applications also are handled at the Office of Temporary Assistance.