Olmsted Co. outreach program connects social workers with residents in need at various locations

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(ABC 6 News) – Olmsted County, in partnership with Family Service Rochester, is bringing its Guiding Partners to Solutions (GPS) program to residents in need at various community locations.

GPS is a team of social workers that serves county residents struggling to connect with resources or services they may need. GPS works to reduce barriers and connect individuals and families with housing, cash, food, and insurance assistance and provides help in applying for these benefits. 

Previously, GPS services were only accessible by phone and at Olmsted County’s 2117 building on Campus Drive SE in Rochester. Now, the county and Family Service Rochester will begin an outreach initiative to bring GPS social workers to the following locations in the community beginning Tuesday.

  • Tuesdays: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
    Location: Riverside Central Elementary School, 506 5th Ave. SE, Rochester. This is only open to families with children at Riverside Central. It is NOT open to the public.
  • Tuesdays: 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Location: The Hylands apartment community, 2800 Charles Ct. NW, Rochester.
  • Thursdays: 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    Location: The Salvation Army Social Services Center, 115 1st Ave. NE, Rochester
  • Thursdays: 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Location: Rochester Public Library, 101 2nd St. SE, Rochester

“As we continue to test new approaches to integration and service delivery, community members have often asked if our services could be offered in new locations, beyond our traditional service hubs at government buildings,” said Olmsted County Program Coordinator Mary Eichten. “By increasing the number of locations where our services can be accessed, we are hoping to reduce barriers such as transportation or stigma.” 

Olmsted County and Family Service Rochester will continue to monitor participation and evaluate the effectiveness of this GPS community outreach program.

Eichten said there is no end date in sight, and as more is learned and the program evaluated, the services may evolve.