Angie Berry, Community Services Director
First Priority is given to emergency situations. Solutions may be immediately available on site or other community resources are sought for the individual and their family. The staff's primary objective is to obtain the information needed during the initial intake visit to provide a comprehensive assessment that will connect families with resources to provide stability and to reduce barriers to their self-sufficiency. Referrals are then made to any of the services in which the family member has an identified need. Applications for rental assistance through HUD's section 8 program and Weatherization of homes can be completed, as well as initiation of job training services and referral to Head Start. WIA (Workforce Investment Act) can also work with youth on obtaining his/ her GED, going to college, and work readiness skills. Referrals are also made to any of the Community Services Department's own programs and to multiple other social services agencies in the community.
Additionally, the Hartville office is located in the Hartville Courthouse and is open Fridays from 8-4:30, the Thayer office is located in the Oregon County Health Department and is open Mondays 9-3, the Mountain View office is in the Community Center and is open Tuesdays 9-4:30, and the Willow Springs office is located at the Senior Center and is open Thursdays 9-4:30.
In April, I meet with a lady in Thayer who had asked for some help with filing her Property Tax Credit forms. She owns her home and had paid her taxes; she was referred to the Ozark Action office by the Thayer Fun and Friends Senior Center for assistance. While visiting with her and completing her assessment, I realized she was over 70 years old, had Medicare, but had never applied for a Part D Prescription Plan. She did take a couple of medicines, but they only cost her about $10.00 per month so she did not know if she should apply or not because of the penalties. I did confirm that her income and resource amount should qualify her for extra help from Social Security which in turn would eliminate her penalty. After we completed her extra help application to Social Security, then we met again to enroll her in a Part D plan and for Missouri RX. She called later to confirm she did get her prescription card and had taken it to her pharmacist, Larry Burns at Palace Drug in Mammoth Springs, AR. Larry called me a few days later to thank me for assisting this lady. He and the doctor did not realize she had never applied for the Part D plan. She was taking two very cheap meds because they knew that was all she could afford. Since she now has a plan, the doctor is going to prescribe her a better, new drug which will help her feel better. After all of her assistance, she will pay less now for her medicines each month than she did with the cheap drugs.
By Paula Miller, Oregon County Outreach Staff
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