Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board staff and clients have had a relatively seamless transition into the new 54,000 square foot May Street building.
Although the building opened and staff moved into the new facility in February, Thunder Bay DSSAB celebrated the grand opening of its new $13.4 million home Wednesday afternoon.
Formerly housed in three separate locations throughout the city, DSSAB now offers Ontario Works, Children’s Services and Social Housing all under one roof.
“It’s helped staff because now that we’re all in one location instead of three there’s the ability to discuss matters regarding clients and tenants more collaboratively and it just makes thing much easier not having to travel across town for meetings and that kind of thing,” said acting CAO Bill Bradica.
The staff also enjoys some added perks of the building such as natural lighting, added Bradica.
Clients have also seen the benefits of having a one-stop shop instead of travelling to various locations throughout the city.
“There’s one reception desk and they’re able to apply for services for Ontario Works, children’s services and housing at one location,” noted Bradica.
TBDSSAB chairman Bob Katajamaki said they did a survey of where their clients were concentrated and a Fort William location made the most sense.
“It’s easier and the bus service is right here at City Hall. It makes it a lot easier for everybody,” he said.
“People aren’t having to drive all over the city,” Katajamaki added.
Bradica said the move back in February went smoothly and the transition only saw minor issues that were solved quickly.
“We were able to serve clients immediately and things have actually gone probably better than we expected in many ways,” he said.
TBDSSAB has about 250 people walk in daily to access services and has satellite offices in Geraldton, Longlac, Manitouwadge, Marathon, Schreiber and Nipigon.