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Community leaders host statewide hearing Saturday exploring impact of DSS downsizing and consolidation

Hearings in Columbia, St. Louis, Kansas City, Kirksville, St. Louis and Springfield
Saturday, October 29, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm 
Watch the testimony LIVE at this link this Saturday, October 29 at 10am -2pm

On Saturday, October 29, from 10:00am - 12:30pm, concerned community leaders and Missouri Department of Social Services employees will hold a series of hearings across Missouri to explore the negative impacts of the hundreds of state jobs cut from the Department of Social Services and subsequent restrictions placed on vulnerable Missourians access to services.

“When we created the Department of Social Services several decades ago, we envisioned a system that served the public and gave us the ability to respond to our neighbors who need help getting back on their feet again,” said Reverend Sarah Hamilton, a United Methodist Pastor from Marquand, who will serve as Chairperson for the hearing. “But as the legislature continues to cut state jobs, the Department has responded by consolidating state offices – a move that will make it much harder for struggling families and children to find the help they need in the communities where they live.” 

The October 29 hearings in Columbia, St. Louis, Kirksville, Kansas City and Springfield will occur simultaneously, and be linked via video conference.  The combined hearings will feature testimony from community members who will be affected by closures in their communities, Family Support Division employees and advocacy organization leaders.  

  • Who: Missourians who depend on the Department of Social Services and other state agencies services, Family Support Division caseworkers and community leaders, including:
    • Reverend Jim Hill, Missouri Interfaith IMPACT and Missouri Baptist Network
    • Reverend Sarah Hamilton, Methodist Pastor in Marquand, Pattonville and Rhodes Chapels, Missouri Interfaith IMPACT Board
    • Mike Hoey, Executive Director of the Missouri Catholic Conference
    • Rebecca McClanahan, Director of Missouri Health Care for All
    • Nancy Copenhaver, Moberly City Councilwoman
    • Rhonda Perry, Executive Director of Missouri Rural Crisis Center
    • Shelby Butler, Program Associate, Services for Independent Living
    • Juan Rangel, Director of Community Engagement at Metropolitan Community College; Board of Kansas City Transit Authority
    • David Robinson, Statewide President of Missouri Chapter of the American Association of University Professors
    • Reverend Sam Mann, Kansas City
    • Deacon Mike Lewis, St. Patrick’s Parish in Kansas City
    • Aimee Wehmeier, President of Missouri’s Network of Centers for Independent Living
    • Jill Shinn, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri
    • Robin Acree, GRO
    • Miriam Mahan, Executive Director of Saints Joachim and Ann Care Service
  • When: Saturday, October 29, 10:00am - 12:30pm
  • Where: Columbia, St. Louis, Kansas City, Kirksville, St. Louis and Springfield

For more information, please contact Kelly Anthony, Missouri Jobs with Justice at 314-608-2043 or [email protected].