Avoid a trip downtown

Weir2010Today I learned about yet-another difficult decision made by a growing number of the people we serve: Do they spend their limited resources on transportation to submit a job application, or on a trip to our downtown office to investigate getting additional or first-time help?

Some are unaware that they could put their bus fare toward a job possibility – and go to their nearby library branch to fax information to us.

Our agency began partnering with the public library system in June 2008 as part of an effort to improve customer service. People can take required paperwork to any of 41 branches located throughout the county during more convenient hours, including evenings and weekends.

Library staff have been trained to handle JFS documents such as applications, rent receipts and pay stubs. They fax the documents to the department’s main building, relieving clients of mailing or taking them downtown.

Unfortunately, most often clients still need to come to the agency for application or reapplication appointments. But they don’t need to make return trips to drop off papers they may have forgotten, or not known they needed.

Library employees fax a cover letter with basic information such as the branch location and customer’s name as well as a check list of verification documents ranging from employment verifications to rent receipts. If necessary, they copy the documents for faxing. They give the client a receipt confirming the transaction.

I encourage them to use this free service, so they can stretch their thin resources.

by Jim Tinker

Filed Under: cash assistance, Food assistance, Medicaid