DSS wants to help

Dear Editor,

As Hamilton County residents we have wildlife, picturesque views and vast wilderness, but along with the benefits of living in such a wondrous frontier come its challenges of obtaining basic necessities when barriers such as transportation and economic struggles are presented.

Hamilton County Department of Social Services can offer a hand up in addressing those barriers and bridging economic trials on your way to self-sufficiency as well as improving quality of life.

Within our office, at White Birch Lane in Indian Lake, we implement a variety of programs. Temporary Assistance and Emergency Assistance help with economic emergencies. Within this program we aid with employment resources to address barriers to finding employment.

The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, and Medicaid can provide access to healthy meals and medical care.

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) helps with heating costs as temperatures plummet. This program is time sensitive and generally runs from November until March.

If you need assistance paying for childcare, DSS coordinates with the Adirondack Child Care Council and may be able to help.

Please contact the agency and speak to Stephanie Hutchins regarding your needs. Medicaid, SNAP and HEAP applications can be accessed through www.hamiltoncounty.com. Click and hold on 'Government' in the menu bar and slide down to 'Departments & Services.'

One may also go to mybenefits.com. You can also come or call the agency at (518) 648-6131.

We also provide assistance in obtaining child support and domestic violence avocation. We recognize that filing court papers can be a daunting experience. Our staff understands and works in conjunction with Hamilton County Family Court to help you navigate the system. Our Domestic Violence hotline is 1-800-721-8534.

We are the lead agent in protecting the children and vulnerable adults in the community. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you suspect a child may be neglected or in danger the number for the New York State Central Registry is 1-800-342-3720. If you are concerned about the wellbeing of an adult please call the agency at (518) 648-6131.

Roberta Bly, commissioner

Hamilton County DSS