A slowing economy is likely to increase demand for Social Services, particularly for Welfare to Work participants.
"If the economy continues to soften we will see a significant increase in our caseloads," Welfare Director Sue Beck told Crow Wing County commissioners Tuesday.
Beck said caseloads have climbed from 402 in September 2000 to 423 in August of this year for a 5.2 percent increase. Beck said those numbers are likely to increase substantially in the next few months and she requested filling a financial worker position that had been held for the past four months.
Beck said Crow Wing County has not witnessed the dramatic 20 percent increase in caseloads experienced in Morrison County.
In other business, Beck and commissioners expressed concern for senior citizens who are caught between meal providers Lutheran Social Services and Nutrition Services Inc. in the county.
Beck said there are seniors who feel if they do not choose one over the other they will lose options. She said Social Services has tried to keep a low profile as the issue between providers is reaching the courts.
"My concern is this is affecting seniors," Beck said. "They are feeling pressured to choose sides. It's been a real difficult struggle."
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