KENMARE Ward County Social Services has opened a satellite office in Kenmare that will enable residents in the northern part of the county to access many services closer to home.
The office opened in downtown Kenmare on June 18. It will be open the first and third Wednesday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"We have been working on this for a year and half. We just never really could locate a place for it until now," said Sylvia Annan, county social services director. "Providers that we are working with are indicating there's a need."
Christine Kolobakken, left, and Lana Nogosek with Ward County Social Services review a client application form in the Kenmare office Wednesday.
Annan said providers of home- and community-based services particularly welcome the new location because it will benefit their elderly clients who are less able to travel to Minot.
Social Services has two staff members who travel from Minot to provide the services. They are able to process applications for economic assistance, including food stamps and energy and child care assistance. Staff also provide information and referral.
The office is open on a drop-in basis. No appointments are needed.
As people become aware of the new office, Ward County Social Services will be assessing the walk-in traffic and determining whether to adjust its availability.
If there is a need to extend hours or add days, the Ward County Commission has indicated it would back those changes, Annan said.
"We are grateful to the commissioners for being supportive of this," she said, noting that Commissioner John Fjeldahl had assisted with discussions that contributed to finding a location in Kenmare.
The office is located in a building formerly used by First District Health Unit, which moved to a new location in Kenmare a year ago.