HAVANA — The Department of Human Services office in Mason County will remain open, according to state Rep. Norine Hammond.
The office at 323 Main St., a DHS Family Community Resource Center, had been targeted for closure earlier this year, with state officials citing how little the office is visited as the reason for its elimination.
“I received the good news that DHS is keeping Family Community Resource Center open and their closure is now on hold. The new administration would like time to assess operation costs statewide,” Hammond said in a prepared release. “My hope is that they keep the center open indefinitely and I will continue to work for that.”
The facility is considered a one-stop site for food stamps, cash and medical assistance and job-placement help, among other things.
Its annual caseload is about 2,500 people, according to a release issued by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal employees, which represents workers there.
About 10 clients a week visit the facility, according to a state spokeswoman. The plan had been to consolidate the Havana site with a similar facility in Lewistown.
Mason County has about 13,500 residents. About 3,000 of them live in Havana. According to Havana Mayor Brenda Stadsholt, 60 percent of the community’s families are disadvantaged economically.
Opponents of the closure had cited a lack of access to public transportation to reach other facilities, and lack of internet access to get services online as reasons to keep the Havana site open.