After more than a year of planning, the County of Door's former Departments of Social Services and Community Programs merged into a combined Department of Human Services, effective January 1, 2013.
Although it has a new name and a new phone number, the Department of Human Services will still provide all the same services as the previous two separate departments.
The intent of the Door County Board of Supervisors in creating this new department was that over time there would be increased efficiencies, streamlining of functions, and improved communication between the staff -- leading to improved services to the residents of Door County at the same or lesser cost to the taxpayer.
Departments of Human Services have been appearing across Wisconsin since the early 1980s. Only 5 of the state's 72 counties remain that haven't adopted some type of merged human services structure: Clark, Fond du Lac, Grant, Iowa, and Shawano counties.
The core functions of the Department of Human Services will remain in the County Government Center located at 421 Nebraska Street, Sturgeon Bay, on both 1st and 2nd floors:
- First floor programs: Child and Family Services, Economic Support, and Long Term Care.
- Second floor programs: Behavioral Health, Community Support, and Developmental Disabilities.
- As soon as the staff are in place and trained, a new program unit, the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Door County will open on 2nd floor (expected in early 2013).
- The Senior Resource Center, as a part of Human Services, will continue to operate at its present location - 832 N. 14th Avenue, Sturgeon Bay.
Persons already receiving services through any existing program unit will remain assigned to their current worker. For persons seeking services for the first time, they should find it easier to navigate the system, as the Human Services structure not only allows but encourages greater staff communication and coordination on behalf of service recipients.
Leadership for the new department will be provided by:
- Joseph Krebsbach, Director (former Director of Community Programs)
- Roger Tepe, Deputy Director (former Director of Social Services)
The new phone number for Human Services will be 920-746-7155. Community members are encouraged to call or stop in for assistance.