New Social Services Building promises better service for clients

From left are: DSSMSSAB CEO Mike Nadeau, Sault Mayor Matthew Shoemaker, DSSMSSAB  Board Chair Stephanie Hopkin, Miranda Jacko, Indigenous Tenant Support Worker, Sault MPP Ross Romano and DSSMSSAB Executive Assistant Miranda Scott. 

The District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administration Board (DSSMSSAB ) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday for its new office building at 540 Albert St. E.

The new Sault Ste. Marie Social Services building is a win-win for both clients and Social Services staff, says Mike Nadeau, Chief Executive Officer of the District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administration Board (DSSMSSAB).

“It’s an amazing day,” says Mike Nadeau, DSSMSSAB Chief Executive Officer. Getting in under one roof allows us to make sure that we’re having one, consistent message, one consistent service model for the people in our community that rely on our services and also allows us to really develop a sense of team. For the first time, we’re going to have a truly integrated team and we’re ally excited about it.”

The four-story building, which cost slightly more than $16 million, was constructed on the same corner as the former LCBO building and bears a striking similarity to the Ron Irwin Civic Centre. But it offers Social Services in the Sault much more than good looks.

For the past 25 years, local social services physically split into three different offices. Clients might have to tell their story three different times, when telling it once could be “draining,” said Nadeau.

“What we really wanted to do was have a one-stop shop, so if you need help, this is where you come,” Nadeau told First Local. “Even if it’s something that we don’t directly deliver, our staff are amazing and will help you figure it out.”

“There are endless advantages to having our services come together in this building,” says DSSMSSAB Board Chair Stephanie Hopkin. “I want to thank the previous board for their fortitude in supporting this new building, and ultimately, the streamlining of social services in the community. Now, more than ever, we have to innovate and create efficiencies when it comes to servicing Sault Ste. Marie residents, including our marginalized populations.”

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