County Executive Ryan Establishes Recovery Service Center to Support Ulster County Residents

Recovery Service Center Will Provide Assistance for County Government Services During Designated Operating Hours and 24/7 Virtual Assistance

KINGSTON, N.Y. – Ulster County Executive Ryan during his Facebook Live briefing announced the launch of the Ulster County Recovery Service Center. The program will support members of the community on a wide range of issues and topics, from helping residents navigate through often complex county service needs to the ability to submit general inquiries and complaints. The Ulster County Recovery Service Center offers live specially-trained County staff from numerous departments at a single point of contact. Coupled with online chat software, County residents can access critical information 24/7 via our Virtual Assistant ChatBot on our COVID-19 website.

Live agents, who are specially-trained county staff assigned from the County’s various departments, are available via phone (845-443-8888) or email (RSC@co.ulster.ny.us) from 9am – 5pm, Monday through Saturday. The Recovery Service Center is also designed to handle many requests 24/7, though self-service tools such as the COVID-19 chat bot, which is available on the County website at ulstercountyny.gov/coronavirus.

“Now more than ever, COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of local government and the daily role that we must play in assisting our residents,” County Executive Pat Ryan said. “The Ulster County Recovery Service Center is an exciting new initiative that will make it easier for our residents to get the support they need. I’m proud that Team Ulster County has continued to innovate throughout our response to this crisis, and this is another major step in that direction–empowering our talented staff with cutting-edge technology to better serve our residents.”

“I am proud to have served as one of the agents on the initial COVID-19 Response Hotline, where I got to see first-hand the complex questions and needs that people are experiencing,” Sue Koppenhaver, Director, Ulster County Office for the Aging said. “Particularly for our senior population, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been devastating, and the demand for services from our office and other senior-serving agencies has been unprecedented. As our community begins to un-pause, I expect that we will see a surge of need that will challenge all of us to do more for those in our community who are most vulnerable to the social and economic impacts that this crisis has caused. I look forward to working closely with the Recovery Service Center team to help ensure that our seniors receive all the support that we can muster in the coming weeks and months.” 

“We are really only at the beginning of this crisis. Last year at this time, Ulster County’s unemployment rate was under 4%, near an all-time low. Today, unemployment in Ulster County has jumped to nearly 15%,” Tomasine Oliphant, Director, Ulster County Office of Employment and Training said. “Across the board, social and economic support systems are going to be pushed to the breaking point as the short-term assistance that was authorized during the height of the pandemic disappears in the coming months. County Executive Ryan’s decision to create a Recovery Service Center is an essential step to help the County prepare for the lasting effects that the past four months will have on all aspects of our community. I look forward to working with him and the Recovery Service Center team to help our residents and our employers recover as quickly as possible.”

The Ulster County Recovery Service Center has already begun handling inquiries from residents related to economic and social assistance programs. Call agents can assist with pre-screening or applying for these programs through the appropriate departments and make referrals to help connect callers with non-County programs. Through partnerships with Family of Woodstock and Access Supports for Living, the call center will be equipped to handle callers dealing with mental health or substance abuse issues through transferring calls to these partners. 

Programs and services available through the Recovery Service Center will include:

  • Food Assistance
    • Office for the Aging Senior Nutrition Program
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as Food Stamps)
    • Women Infants and Children (WIC)
    • Project Resilience
  • Housing Assistance
    • Public Defender’s Tenant Protection Unit
    • Department of Social Services, Temporary Assistance
    • Veterans Services Agency,Patriots House
    • Utility Assistance (HEAP)
  • Mental Health Support
    • Single Point of Access (SPOA)
    • Assisted Outpatient Treatment
    • Mobile Mental Health Team
  • Employment Assistance
    • Job-Seeker Counseling and Training
    • Unemployment Application Assistance
  • Business Assistance
    • General Business Guidance
    • Business Counseling
  • COVID-19 Assistance
    • Quarantine/Isolation Support
    • Diagnostic Testing Inquiries
    • Contact Tracing/Exposure Reporting
    • COVID-19 Business Guidance
    • Compliance Complaints/Whistleblower Hotline

There are currently 1770 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 83 fatalities in Ulster County.

For additional information about COVID-19 visit: https://ulstercountyny.gov/coronavirus

Ulster County COVID-19 Hotline: 845-443-8888

NYS Coronavirus Information Hotline: 888-364-3065

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