March 18, 2020
Columbus, OH –
Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services will be reducing the hours its Opportunity Centers will remain open to the public as a preventative measure to help protect the health of both customers and employees.
Beginning tomorrow, March 19, FCDJFS Opportunity Centers will only be open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – noon. Additional procedures have been put in place to limit the number of customers permitted to enter each Opportunity Center at one time and expedite customer flow in and out of the lobbies.
“This is not a decision we came to lightly, but ultimately it was an easy one to make,” FCDJFS Director Joy Bivens said. “It’s about preserving the health and wellbeing of our staff as well as our customers. Residents are going to need our Agency more than ever in the weeks and months ahead, and without additional flexibility from the federal government, we need our employees healthy so they can process cases.
“These men and women are our community’s social safety net, and we need to make sure it holds.”
While the East Opportunity Center (1055 Mt. Vernon Ave., Columbus 43203), Northland Opportunity Center (1721 Northland Park Ave., Columbus 43229) and West Opportunity Center (314 N. Wilson Road, Columbus 43204) will be closing to the public earlier than normal, residents do not need to apply in-person for benefits like food assistance, cash assistance or Medicaid in the first place. They can apply, or check on the status of an existing application, over the phone at 1-844-640-OHIO (6446)
or online at any time at www.benefits.ohio.gov
Customers can also check on the status of an existing case, submit verification documents and sign up for text message notifications online through the Ohio Benefits Self-Service Portal at https://ssp.benefits.ohio.gov
In addition to reducing the hours Opportunity Centers will be open to the public, FCDJFS will also be reducing daily staffing levels in order to adhere to guidance from the health experts. The Agency continues to work in consultation with Franklin County Public Health and is regularly disinfecting Opportunity Center lobbies, as well as employee common areas.
FCDJFS has launched a new Web page, jfs.franklincountyohio.gov/COVID19
, where it will provide updates about Agency operations or guidance on how to apply for benefits as well as helpful links and resources, including telehealth links for customers enrolled in each of the state’s five Medicaid Managed Care Plans.
The Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services provides timely public assistance benefits and builds community partnership through inclusion, responsiveness and innovation. Learn more at https://jfs.franklincountyohio.gov and follow FCDJFS on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.