Human services department to close, consolidate 15 offices

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Fifteen health and human services offices around Michigan would be closed or consolidated under a budget plan approved by a legislative conference committee.

Nine Michigan Department of Health and Human Services offices and six Michigan Rehabilitation Services offices would be affected under the plan approved Tuesday. Department spokesman Bob Wheaton says there will be no layoffs as part of the changes.

Wheaton says the department would still have a local presence in every county and the plan will allow more staff members to be in the field rather than in an office setting.

The state House and Senate are expected to give final approval to the plan along with other departmental budget bills by the end of next week.

A list of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services offices around Michigan that would be affected under a proposed budget plan:

Health and Human Services closures or changes:

  • Alger office
  • Montmorency office
  • Presque Isle office
  • Genesee McCree office
  • Fort Wayne office
  • Redford office
  • Glendale/Trumbull office in Wayne County
  • A centralized intake office in Kent County that’s proposed to close, but that office does not see residents. Workers there field phone calls from around the state.
  • An office in Dickinson County would vacate one of its two floors.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services impacts:

  • Offices in Genesee, Isabella, Ottawa and Tuscola counties would close, along with two in Wayne County.

DHS spokesperson Bob Wheaton told 24 Hour News 8 the centralized intake program in Kent County has been a success. He said it has led to an increase in reports and more consistent handling of cases. The Kent County location is the only intake center in the state. The proposal to close this location is financially motivated.

Wheaton said the state currently leases the facility. The state believes they can save money by moving the office to another location, such as building already being used or owned by the State of Michigan. The location has not yet been identified but it is possible it could remain in West Michigan.

“Out intent is to do our best to reassign centralized intake staff members to remain in Kent County,” said Wheaton.

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