Wednesday, February 28, 2001

One-stop Human Services proposed

Warren Co. department wants to relocate

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Warren County's Department of Human Services appealed to county leaders Tuesday to consider moving the department next to the One-Stop Center for better coordination of services.

        The One-Stop Center is a ground-breaking operation at the old courthouse on Silver Street that coordinates services for the unemployed, with an emphasis on helping them find jobs. Some of those same people get help with food stamps, day care, medical coverage and other services at Human Services, department officials said Tuesday, and could be better served if it were closer to One-Stop.

        “It really is the wave of the future,” Human Services Director Phil Masten said after meeting with county commissioners Tuesday. “We're really trying to be about work-force development, as welfare reform asks us to.”

        Human Services wants to move into the old county administration building on Silver Street when most of those offices move into the new administration building on Justice Drive — possibly within the next month.

        But two of the three commissioners said Tuesday they probably would not agree to the request. The building already has been earmarked for several agriculture and environment-related departments that now operate in different rented locations.

        “It's going to take more than a very nice report to convince me to make a move like this,” said commission President Mike Kilburn, citing cost. No estimates were given.

        Human Services' space on East Street was built just 15 years ago, he and Commissioner Larry Crisenbery said.

        However, Commissioner Pat South said the request might have merit.

        “The whole philosophy of One-Stop ... is how can we help you get a job and move toward self-sufficiency,” Mrs. South said.

        It might be more logical to move Human Services close to One-Stop and combine agricultural and environmental services in Human Services' building, she said.

        After department officials left the commissioners' meeting, the commissioners convened behind closed doors.

        Mrs. South said she and Mr. Crisenbery had a “personal conversation” about a comment she had made in the meeting — in which she asked the other two whether their minds were set against Human Services' proposal.


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