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Groups, offices extending service to veterans

Dec. 20, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

IRONTON -- Lawrence County's 5,800 veterans now have access to more services, the county's Board of Commissioners were told Thursday.

Sue Yancy, a social worker for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, said the Huntington office is extending service across the river and now will have office hours Thursday afternoons at the Workforce Development Center at 120 N. 3rd St. in Ironton. Yancy is a VA homeless outreach social worker. She can be reached from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursdays in Ironton or by calling 304-529-9163.

"We want to do what we can to provide assistance with housing for veterans," Yancy said. "Some veterans have trouble getting to Huntington.

"A lot of veterans are leaving the area because they can't get services here," she said. "We can get them access to employment specialists, substance abuse specialists and legal aide specialists."

The Huntington office also provides services to Gallia County in Ohio and Boyd County in Kentucky, Yancy said.

Volunteers of America, a group offering free services to veterans, opened an office in the Burlington area Oct. 1, said Dwayne Fradd, case manager at the office at 221 Township Road 1013. His office number is 740-451-0822.

The group offers services to veterans in Lawrence and Gallia counties in Ohio and to Mason, Jackson, Roane and Putnam counties in West Virginia. It is funded by a Veterans Administration grant, Fradd said.

Volunteers of America provides case management to connect veterans with needed services and temporary financial assistance. Services include vocational and rehabilitation counseling, employment and training services, educational assistance, health care services, daily living services, personal financial planning service, transportation services, income support services, legal services, child care services and housing counseling services.

Housing for veterans is a priority, Fradd said.

Lawrence County also has a veterans services office at the courthouse.

Another local group, Huntington Area Habitat for Humanity also is looking into housing for veterans, said Earl "Buddy" Fry, a member of the group's board of directors. "This is very preliminary, but we're excited about it," Fry said. "As far as I know, it's not being done elsewhere."

In other action, the board:

Hired Jeremy Simpson and Brittany Thompson to the position of clerk II for the county Department of Job and Family Services and Thomas Schneider and Heather Montroso as income maintenance worker III. They are to start work Jan. 6. The board also agreed to hire Patricia Shafer as an investigator II effective Jan. 14.

Approved the purchase of a dump truck with a snow plow for the county engineer's office at a cost of $139,000. Other purchases include a utility truck for $53,000 and a pipe trailer for $10,000.

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