SULLIVAN, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The one-stop shop at Sullivan City Hall is a place for residents affected by the storm to get in touch with state agencies as well as volunteer organizations.
The one-stop shop was established in both Sullivan and Johnson counties by Governor Eric Holcomb to bring state services to the two hardest hit areas of Indiana.
Vincent Grahovac, On-site manager for the Sullivan County one-stop shop said, “One-stop shop in a central location that we can bring a bunch of state agencies together and offer free services to individuals that were affected by the disaster.”
“These are free services,” Grahovac said. “You can talk to agencies like the department of insurance, like the FSFA, IHCDA, which is our housing authority here in Indiana. You can talk to the Indiana Department of Health and get some vital records; you can also talk to the BMV and Workforce development,” he added.
More than a dozen state agencies are on hand to help people with the basics, including shelter, food and identifying documents.
These services are an important first step as the community begins to recover. The one stop shop can also put residents in touch with crisis counseling and mental health referrals.
“We are also co-located with voluntary organizations. Those organizations include The Hamilton Center, The Salvation Army, Red Cross, Southern Baptist, and they can do things like debris cleanup, mold remediation, tarps, disaster mental health counseling, and we’re also providing things like tetanus shots,” Grahovac said.
The American Red Cross is setup at the one-stop shop and is also meeting with impacted residents by appointment at Sullivan High School’s Student Activity Center (The SAC).
Paige BeMiller with the Disaster Mental Health portion of The American Red Cross said, “We are trying to connect all the residents of Sullivan to the resources that are available for all of them.”
The Red Cross said they talk to each resident to see what they qualify for.
“Depending on what they’ve survived and the resources that are available to them, we’re trying to connect those to the best of our ability,” BeMiller said. “This will start the process to our new normal,” she added.
The one-stop shop will help the state get a better idea of the needs in the impacted community. Leaders say the services provided can give residents some comfort and make it easier to begin the path to recovery.
“I encourage everybody to do it now, while we’re all together. So, that we’re not on the phone for hours, on hold, trying to get things started later,” BeMiller said. “Everybody is here to help. Now’s the time to utilize that support,” she added.
“We’re trying to encourage as many residents as possible to come out and sign up with our intake process,” Grahovac said. All of our intake forms go to the long-term recovery group, when we leave, and they try to meet the gaps in service that the state and federal government might not be able to provide,” she added.