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Hancock County residents needing assistance from County Social Services may soon have access to a representative in the community health building.

Hancock County Health Services requested the possible office space with the Hancock County Board of Supervisors during a recent meeting.

“With Hancock County Health System and ourselves being more involved with County Social Services, we have started participating in a lot of their meetings over there but also are hoping to get more services for our county since we’re paying into it and we’re learning more about it and everything that’s available,” said Hancock County Health Services representative Chelcee Schleuger.

Schleuger said Hancock County Health Services have been in touch with CSS Chief Executive Officer Bob Lincoln about various things that are and will be available to Hancock County, especially services that are becoming more locally available.

“I reached out to him probably two weeks ago asking him for a spot in Hancock County for [CSS] to have just a like a little office,” she said.

The CSS employees wouldn’t have to be in the office five days a week – just three days a week – and they could even be shared with Winnebago County, according to Schleuger.

Currently, Hancock County and Worth County are the only two counties in the north quadrant of the CSS mental health region that don’t have any representative available in the county, Schleuger said. Instead, Hancock County uses Winnebago County’s representative.

“And so I’m not sure what the future looks like with that, but it’s something we’re interested in and trying to push for,” Schleuger said.

Schleuger said she was hoping to get approval for an office for CSS representatives in the community health building, which currently has a couple spaces not in use and available.

“We have one office available that is down by the [Veterans Affairs] hall we only use two days a week right now, so it would have the availability to house somebody for three days a week if I can talk [Lincoln] into letting us share somebody,” Schleuger said.

Supervisor Chairman Jerry Tlach said he didn’t have an issue with it as it wouldn’t require any more office space and is just CCS utilizing what the county already have.

“It’s just you have to work around it with your office space,” he said. “There’s no extra office spaces.”

Schleuger said she has not approached Lincoln about the idea, but rather wanted approval from the Board of Supervisors to put somebody in there if CSS is willing to do so.

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