Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Wilson County Department of Social Services is taking steps to ensure that its customers and staff stay protected. The agency on Wednesday announced program modifications and additional ways for people to access services without visiting the agency.
“We know that our services provide a lifeline to many in our community,” Wilson County DSS Director Glenn Osborne said. “We want the public to know that we are serving all customers, but we are encouraging everyone to use some of the other options available for services and to restrict physically coming into the agency unless absolutely necessary.”
Wilson County DSS made the following requests to clients:
• Don’t go to the agency if you’re sick.
• Don’t bring high-risk individuals to the agency.
• Limit all in-person visits to the agency and use online or phone methods where possible.
“The agency has taken a proactive approach to help stop the spread of the virus,” Osborne said. “We have staff cleaning and disinfecting our buildings, focusing on areas that are frequently touched. We are regularly communicating with staff, reminding them to wash their hands, practice physical distancing and stay home if they are sick or running a fever. We also are using telecommuting for staff, where appropriate, to help prevent the spread of the virus.”
The agency offers several alternatives for those needing to access services. The options are designed to reduce the number of people coming into the agency and allow many in the community to remain at home.
SERVICES AND RESOURCES
The DSS customer call center is available to help food assistance and Medicaid customers. From the call center, customers can manage a variety of needs. The call center is staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.
Customers who need to return documents to the agency can use the drop box located outside the main lobby entrance.
Those who need to apply for food assistance or Medicaid can also use EPass, located at www.epass.nc.gov.
“Anyone needing to call our agency to make a report of child or adult abuse or neglect can still do so,” Osborne said. “Our child protective services and adult protective services staff are responding to these reports and will continue to do so.”
Customers needing assistance in other agency programs such as energy assistance, child support, child care subsidy or Work First are encouraged to call and speak with their caseworker prior to going to the agency. Anyone needing to apply for any of these services can call 252-206-4000 and be connected with staff in the various programs to request an application by mail and learn more about the application process.
For more information, visit www.wilson-co.com/departments/social-services.