Alexandria Leaders Consolidate Human Services | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Alexandria Leaders Consolidate Human Services

Play associated audio
 The waiting room of the Department of Human Services on Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria.
The waiting room of the Department of Human Services on Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria.

By Michael Pope

The waiting room of the Department of Human Services is more crowded than it used to be, and every day seems to bring more and more people looking for help. One man refused to speak on the record, but he says wait times have increased dramatically since the economic downturn. That's something that concerns Assistant City Manager Debra Collins.

"If you came here and you need rent relief, but I also know you need substance abuse treatment...," says Collins.

Then what happens? For many years, people would be bounced around though a maze of agencies and departments. But soon, people in need will have a single point of entry: one department that combines all welfare services with mental health treatment, substance-abuse counseling and domestic violence intervention.

"My vision is that there's no wrong door for our clients. It's really making sure that no one leaves here and doesn't make it to the next location. That's the goal," she says.

Community Services Board Chairwoman Mary Anne Weber says one important part of the consolidation effort is the creation of a new call center.

"When the person makes the call for one service, they will learn what else is available they might need or might help them. So they don't have to keep going from office to office," says Weber.

City leaders hope to launch the newly created office within the next year.

NPR

A Tome Of Peruvian Food, By Its Most Acclaimed Ambassador

Gaston Acurio is the world's premiere cheerleader for Peruvian cuisine, and he's just written a cookbook. It's called Peru: The Cookbook, and has 500 recipes — including more than 20 kinds of ceviche.
NPR

A Tome Of Peruvian Food, By Its Most Acclaimed Ambassador

Gaston Acurio is the world's premiere cheerleader for Peruvian cuisine, and he's just written a cookbook. It's called Peru: The Cookbook, and has 500 recipes — including more than 20 kinds of ceviche.
NPR

Florida Lawmakers Convene Special Session To Wrangle Budget Issues

Republicans who control the Governor's mansion and both chambers of the state legislature are at an impasse over the issue of health care and whether to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
NPR

Threatened Online? Supreme Court Says Prosecutors Must Prove Intent

Justices declined to delineate exactly what sort of evidence could prove that an online post — such as "took all the strength I had not to ... slit her throat" — was intended to spark fear.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.