Social service agency available to Lombard residents
A total of 82 cases received outreach efforts by the Village of Lombard's social service agency during the past fiscal year. The Lombard Board of Trustees approved a second year contract with Victim Services to continue the social services program in the Village at its Board meeting last Thursday.
The most common type of assistance during the past 12 months was for "well being" checks. This occurred 28 times throughout the year. "One of the benefits to the Village is definitely the efficiency of the program," said Jeff Holst, Lombard's Interim Fire Chief. "In some instances, Victim Services will assist in a situation which frees up the firefighters, making them more available to respond to emergency calls," he added.
Other instances when Victim Services assisted included cases that involve issues dealing with drugs, teens, mental health, domestic situations, suicides and deaths. More than 220 people received assistance from the agency during the first year.
"The Victim Services program has proven to be a great benefit to the Police Department," said Lombard Police Chief Raymond Byrne. "They have been able to provide assistance in several situations where multiple calls to the same location often prove troublesome for the police. This helps to keep officers on the street and definitely improves our efficiency," Byrne added.
"The advocates from the program have proven very helpful when crime or tragedy has touched a resident or family. They can provide on scene consolation as well as follow-up to see what additional services might also be available or needed," Byrne said.
"Our department has found that the outreach they (Victim Services) provide is unique in that it is available to those who do not qualify for senior services," said Joan Rogers, Code Enforcement Coordinator for the Village's Community Development Department. "As with County services, if the recipient declines assistance, Victim Services try to call back to offer their contact information as needed," Rogers added.
"This new program was an attempt to fill the gaps in service for our most needy residents," said Trustee Laura Fitzpatrick. "Lombard is a community that has a continually changing population. The needs for services continue to change also. Our social service caseworker is on hand to fit the services to the needs that arise," Fitzpatrick added.
"We are so pleased that in only one year, this new program has streamlined many police and fire calls," Fitzpatrick commented. "As a proven money saver for the Village, it is a real win-win!" she added.
The social services program is available free of charge to Lombard residents. Information sessions may be provided upon request to agencies wishing to learn more. For more information on the program or to request an information session for your group, contact Joelyn Kott, Communications Coordinator at (630) 620-5718.
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