Stanislaus County is set to close a Community Services Agency office on Scenic Drive that handles Medi-Cal eligibility for low-income residents.
County supervisors approved a consent item Tuesday to close the building at 1030 Scenic effective June 29. According to the Community Services Agency, the office at the county health services campus on Scenic served 1,860 people a month in the past year and the crowded conditions in the office result in safety concerns.
The centrally located office is convenient for homeless people who need Medi-Cal services and other folks who don't have their own transportation.
After the office is closed, residents in Modesto will be served at a Medi-Cal intake office at the West Modesto Community Center at 401 E. Paradise Road and the Community Services Agency main office on Hackett Road. The Community Services Agency also has offices in Hughson, Oakdale, Turlock and Patterson.
In addition, people can apply for Medi-Cal by phone or access benefits online, a county report says.
CSA Director Kathryn Harwell said the county is working on a master plan for health service facilities and will continue to assess the needs in Modesto, which could result in another office location for Medi-Cal eligibility.
“We hope to complete the master plan in the summer,” Harwell said. “Our services can be accessed over the phone and we have a web-based application. We put a lot of research into making this decision.”
The services such as Medi-Cal intake, CalFresh and Welfare-to-Work were relocated to the 1030 Scenic building after a severe water leak in June 2016 flooded the Health Services Agency Central Unit at the former county hospital on Scenic Drive. Because of the water damage to ceilings, walls, floors and equipment, some of the office space could no longer be used by health services and county social services.
Harwell said the 1030 Scenic building needs extensive renovations to make it comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. According to the county, campus security or law enforcement have responded to numerous incidents at the CSA office since August
The small lobby is often filled beyond capacity, leading to disturbances between customers and staff members, a county report says.
The building has no rooms for interviews, forcing staff members to conduct interviews with customers at their work stations, and that has led to tensions and customer outbursts toward staff.
Harwell said that incidents occur about once a month.
When the office closes in late June, the 25 county employees will be moved to the Community Service Agency center on Hackett Road.