THE VOICE OF THE TOWNSHIP

There’s No Place Like Home

 

Almost 25,000 families in need sought assistance from the Wayne Township Trustee’s Office this past year. This year looks to be another record setting year, given the cost of everyday necessities rising at such an alarming rate. Being the season of Thanksgiving, I thought I would take time to acknowledge to the Waynedale faithful the type of staff that can provide such dedication to always keep up with the increasing need. Over the last seven years, Wayne Township Office has seen its case load double twice and the increases do not show any sign of stopping. With virtually the same staff size and relative budget, we have been able to meet those needs with the help of current technology.

The unsung heroes of Wayne Township begin with your initial contact. When you come in, the front desk person keeps order over what would be chaos, with in excess of 100 clients at times. The operator, yes we have one, handles all calls, so when you have a question that doesn’t fit the run of the mill voice mail system, you can be transferred without going through endless voice options. The document-imaging technician, keeps track and makes record of almost all documents finding their way to our office. The relief person manages to fill in for all of these without loss of professionalism or quality, and whose attitude and giggle could warm even the coldest situation.

The Workfare staff has three full time individuals that keep the building presentable and welcoming to anyone. Building maintenance is just the beginning of their duties, they assign work days, thereby assuring that all those that can work will, perform housing inspections, maintain the parking lot, vehicles, grounds, and handle the donated clothing. Quite often those living in poverty are forced to live in unsafe conditions due to their circumstances. The Wayne Township workfare staff now tests for lead based paint, during housing inspections, to insure that the homes our tax dollars pay for meet minimum housing safety standards.

The investigative staff schedules one client per hour and fill in all other time with emergency work in appointments. When you consider the increase in the client load, you’re amazed just to realize just how busy they are. But they are also counselors for first time applicants that have never before needed assistance, crying shoulders, advocates, and still volunteer for many other services to benefit the community both in and out of the office.

When someone doesn’t qualify for assistance we understand that they are still more than likely in need. The community resource specialist is charged with trying to find help for them with all of the other resources within our community. Just about one fourth of applicants that apply for assistance do not qualify, and even though not all of them want to see the specialist, he is kept extremely busy with the rest.

The outreach staff handles a 4-unit homeless shelter, and the outreach program families that total about 12 most of the time. This is about 16 families and their housing and other needs. Their intensive case management and frequent contact time increase the likelihood that these families will become self-sufficient and no longer need public assistance.

The employment specialist helps clients get back to being a helper rather than a helpee, by using employment information gathered during client interviews and requiring the individual seeking assistance to apply for employment that meets their qualifications. Our tax dollars are not required to assist any able bodied individual who refuses to seek and accept employment.

Our accounting department has the responsibility of absorbing all of the new clients, processing all the claims and making sure that your tax dollars are spent appropriately. They also help keep the amount of assistance down by budgeting the resources of our payee clients, so that all their money is spent on their basic needs.

How is it possible to see more clients with the same amount of staff; our information technology or I.T. staff. They manage our data imaging system allowing the technology to secure vital records, calculate payrolls and provide daily monthly and year-end reports.

On behalf of the supervisory staff, Deputy Trustee Al Stoller and I would like to thank the front line staff for their tremendous effort this past year.

The Waynedale News Staff

Matthew Schomburg

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