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Help with back-to-school clothing offered in Harrison County

CADIZ — The Harrison County Department of Job and Family Services is helping children prepare for school with its annual back-to-school clothing program.

Deb Knight, assistant director of the Harrison County DJFS, announced the opening of the program during Wednesday’s county commission meeting.

“We’re starting our back-to-school program this afternoon,” Knight told Commissioners Don Bethel, Paul Coffland and Dale Norris.

The program offers clothing vouchers for families who are living in Harrison County and are income-eligible. This is the sixth consecutive year the county has offered the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families-funded service.

Knight said each eligible family will be provided a $200 voucher per child, ages 3-18. She noted that 18-year-olds are eligible for the program if they are enrolled in secondary school. The voucher is good for clothing, shoes, boots, coats, undergarments, socks, winter hats and gloves.

The voucher can only be used at Boscov’s located at the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville.

Those eligible for the program include those who are currently receiving food assistance, Ohio Works First cash assistance, Medicaid or publicly funded child care assistance or whose earnings are under 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

The vouchers must be used within 30 days of the issuance date, Knight said. All shopping must be completed by Aug. 28.

“We’re kind of expanding the time frame, giving them more shopping time and trying to work within the constraints of the pandemic,” she said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DJFS office remains closed to the public, but applications will still be made available.

“Since we are still closed to the public except for appointments for our workforce services and our parent-child visits for our children in custody, we are trying to figure out how to get the applications out so we are going to post them on our door,” she said.

Knight said the applications can be acquired at the DJFS office’s front entrance door; on the department’s Facebook page, where residents can print them off; or residents may contact the office and request an application be mailed out.

The department will be collecting applications from now until the end of July.

“One of the differences this year, besides all the COVID-19 differences, is we normally have a couple days where we collect applications in mass. This year we are going to collect applications from now until the end of July. We will process them as they come in and we will mail vouchers to the families,” she said.

For information or to request an application, contact the DJFS at (740) 942-2171.

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