STATE BUILDING IN ENTERPRISE DOUBLES IN SIZE
By Gary Fletcher
Observer Staff Writer
ENTERPRISE The Oregon Department of Human Services building is being expanded to nearly double its size to include more agencies and become both a community center and a one-stop shop for social services now in various locations.
The 5,300-square foot expansion and remodeling of the 5,760-square-foot building at 502 S. River Street is expected to be completed in April. A new entrance will be on Litch Street, according to a press release.
The construction coincides with statewide changes in the state human services agency that will have DHS employees working in teams to deliver coordinated services to clients with multiple needs, the press release said.
The focus of the new building reflects the agencys goal to bring services to a single site so clients may obtain the services they need, presumably permitting some clients to reach self-sufficiency sooner, according to the press release.
This community endeavor to support improved services for Wallowa County individuals, families and children has been under way for nearly three years, said Stephanie Williams, a local DHS manager. It is likely the building will be named to reflect its community focus.
The new partner agencies planning to move into the building include the state Employment Department, Wallowa County Training and Employment Consortium and DHS vocational rehabilitation services.
The offices will house several desks where other agencies may station a worker to meet clients as Wallowa County Mental Health is doing.
In the building are Child, Adult and Family Services; Seniors and People with Disabilities Services; Health Services and Volunteer Services, all elements of DHS.
More than 11,000 Wallowa and Union County residents received services from DHS and its partners in 1999, of whom 63 percent received at least three services, according to the press release.
The building is owned by Don Foster of Enterprise, who is acting as general contractor, with some work being subcontracted to Clark Downing of Halfway.
DHS has a 10-year lease with Foster. Plans to expand the existing building to bring more agencies together were begun as leases on existing buildings were maturing. Williams said.