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Ribbon cutting for DSS building

The Prince Edward County Department of Social Services (DSS) hosted an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the public Wednesday, Nov. 20, at the department’s new location, 56 B SMI Way off of Industrial Park Road in Farmville, a county press release noted.

Officials in the release highlighted that the new building was constructed by the county to accommodate for the growing staff and services offered.

Attending the event Wednesday were members of the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors, including Farmville 701 District Supervisor and Board Chairman Jim Wilck, Leigh District Supervisor and Board Vice Chairman Jerry R. Townsend, Farmville 801 District Supervisor Pattie Cooper-Jones, Hampden District Supervisor Dr. Odessa Pride and Prospect District Supervisor J. David Emert, the release stated. They were joined by members of the Prince Edward County Social Services Board, including Jeff Tindall, Ida Miley, Dr. Theresa Clark, Karen Schinabeck and Cooper-Jones, who serves on both boards.

“We are so proud of the completion of the new DSS building and how well it fits the needs of the employees and the citizens who receive services,” Wilck said in the release.

Prince Edward County DSS is one of the 120 local social service agencies in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the release cited. The mission of the agency is to help people triumph over poverty, abuse and neglect to shape strong futures for themselves, their families and communities.

Officials stated in the release that there are more than 4,392 people — 23% of the population — living in poverty in Prince Edward County, according to the Local Department of Social Services Profile Report for State Fiscal Year 2018 (SFY 18). This includes 1,000 children below the age of 18. Prince Edward County and Southside Virginia have some of the highest poverty rates in the state.

Roma Morris, director of Prince Edward County DSS, said in the release, “Our workers strive to offer family support in requesting the services and benefits the family needs, as well as to assist the family in finding their own solutions. We also work collaboratively with community providers in service delivery.”

Prince Edward County DSS offers various benefits, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, food stamps), Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), to 6,032 residents, according to data that represents SFY 18, the release noted. Services offered by DSS include foster care, adoption, child protection, adult protection and adult services, including nursing home and personal care screenings.

Prince Edward Social Services receives federal (54.3%), state (43.4%) and local (3%) funding, the release cited, concluding by stating that more information is available regarding Prince Edward DSS at www.princeedwardsocialservices.com.