Community services

Douglass Community Services takes key step toward long-term goal | Local News

HANNIBAL — Staff members at Douglass Community Services are closing in on a long-term goal.

Since Friday, DCS employees have been busy moving into their new offices at 909 Broadway.

Director of Development Stacey Nicholas said the transition will bring the organization closer to the goal of better service availability for customers.

“Our ultimate goal is to have a single point of service,” she said.

Nicholas said the move will create a lot more space.

The Grand Avenue facility once served as a medical building.

Nicholas pointed out how employees in certain departments were sometimes scattered, despite efforts to keep everyone close to each other.

Now, some administrative employees are preparing to share large office spaces with their colleagues.

Colored borders marked the intended locations for desks, office equipment and other items.

The Broadway location will house administrative offices, training rooms and conference space.

Nicholas said staff members will be able to collaborate more easily with colleagues and then travel to provide direct care services.

“I still love the old line, ‘How are you doing on Broadway? Practice! Practice! Practice!’ So we trained ourselves to be good stewards of the community and to meet the needs of our customers – so now we’re back on Broadway,” Nicholas said.

Staff members were busy setting up their new spaces on Monday.

Administrative offices will be closed during the move, but services will continue as planned.

Product distribution continues Wednesday and the food pantry remains at 711 Grand Ave. Emergency food distribution takes place Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday when commodities are not being distributed.

Boxes of veteran and senior food will be distributed during pantry hours at the Grand Ave location.

Housing and utility support services are available by appointment by calling 573-221-3892.

Patience is appreciated as the transition continues for the administrative offices. These services will remain at the Grand Ave location.

The Thrift Store remains in its current location, in the former Shirley Bomar Center at 235 Munger Lane. The long-term goal is to integrate all services and programs at 711 Grand Ave.

Nicholas said customers have faced challenges, including rising gas prices, and the single location of services will help minimize additional trips around town.

The new administrative offices will open on Monday, April 18. An open day is planned for the future.

So far, Nicholas said the effort was fun to watch. She described seeing the Grand Avenue building empty of large piles of boxes and furniture as the Broadway site filled up.

Nicholas looked out of one of the windows in his new upstairs office, pointing to the Baptist Church at Eighth and Center Streets. The building housed DCS after moving out of the old Douglass School building.

Chief Financial Officer Dan Whelan and Deputy Chief Financial Officer Kathy Runyon recall working at the historic church. They recalled their feelings of excitement over the expansion of the organization and the move to Grand. Av.

Staff members are feeling similar emotions as they prepare for the future.

“It’s really exciting. It’s exciting to see how creative our colleagues are when it comes to designing their office space,” said Nicholas.

She pointed out that improvements can be stalled when some councils realize they can’t do everything at once. Nicholas commended the DCS Board members for pursuing the organization’s long-term goal one step at a time.

It’s creative to see how forward-thinking our board is,” she said.