The Ocean County Board of Social Services has reopened its southern office on Haywood Road for the first time since a tornado roared through the area in mid-August.
“The Ocean County Board of Social Services made every effort to accommodate its clients that were unable to access this office,” said Freeholder Gerry P. Little, who services as liaison to the board. “I want to thank the administration and the staff at the Board of Social Services for their efforts in maintaining services for the needy during this closure.”
The Manahawkin office was substantially damaged on Aug. 13, when lightning struck the roof and started a fire. The building also sustained water and smoke damage, he said.
“Repairs are completed and the public can return to the office to access important social services and programs," Little said.
Clients used the Board of Social Services offices in Toms River and Lakewood while the Southern office was closed.The National Weather Service later confirmed the tornado was 50 to 100 yards wide and two miles long. It was packing winds between 75 to 85 miles per hour, which ranks it an EF0 on the Fujita scale that measures tornado intensity.
Social services workers administer General Assistance, SNAP (food stamps), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Adult Medicaid Family Care and other programs from the southern site.
In addition, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) clinics run by the Ocean County Health Department in the same facility are now open during regularly scheduled clinic hours. Clinic hours are available on the Ocean County Health Department website at www.ochd.org.