Transitional Assistance Dept. Has New Digs in Fitchburg
FITCHBURG -- The city has relocated and revamped its Department of Transitional Assistance office to be more welcoming to clients and safer for staff.
Since relocating in October, the Fitchburg office has helped people and families from the city and surrounding communities receive financial support, food assistance, and work training at 49 Nursery Lane.
″(The new office) did set the stage for anyone to walk through the door to feel supported,” said department Commissioner Jeff McCue, who joined staff to tour the new space.
In about two months, the Fitchburg office has served more than 2,000 clients, said Office Director Jenna Tait.
The space features a large lobby for people to apply for assistance, ask questions, or receive updates at three windows.
They can also use self-service tablet kiosks in the lobby to apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Tait said nearly 1,000 clients have already used the kiosks.
A hallway lined with 13 meeting rooms can give more privacy to clients who want to meet one-on-one with case workers.
Separate rooms off of the lobby are dedicated to EBT cards, SNAP processing, and for program orientations.
A back space with is where staff can take calls, process documents, and talk with clients.
The office is co-located with three other state agencies -- the Department of Developmental Services, Department of Mental Health, and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission -- as well as the Montachusett Opportunity Council.
McCue said the office’s proximity to other state agencies and an organization like MOC can help connect people with various services and for the groups to collaborate.
In remarks before the tours, Mayor Stephen DiNatale said getting the Fitchburg transitional assistance office into a new building and open was years in the making.
A tax package helped repurpose the former mill building, he said, adding that the office can be a way to stimulate economic development in the area.
“The city of Fitchburg couldn’t be happier with what we have today,” DiNatale said.
He presented a citation from the city to congratulate the DTA office on its opening.
The mayor also looked back on his time working for the Department of Mental Health to help people recently released from prison. From that experience, he said he understands the importance of transitional assistance.
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