AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced today that it will open an office in Calais, reestablishing a permanent presence in eastern Washington County.

The office will be located at 330 North Street in Calais.

The Department has signed a 20-year lease for the 3,500 square-foot building, which is expected to open in October. It will house approximately 10 staff from the Office for Family Independence, Office of Child and Family Services, Office of Aging and Disability Services, and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Services provided will include processing of applications and renewals for public assistance programs.

"Maine people deserve access to the critical services provided by the Department of Health and Human Services," said Governor Mills. "I am pleased that we are able to reopen this office and ensure that state government is available and responsive to the needs of the people of Washington County."

"We look forward to reestablishing this connection with the Calais region, and strive to make services accessible to Maine people in all corners of the state," said DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew.

The Department's previous office in Calais closed in October 2016. That office had served an average of approximately 21 clients per day. Eligibility specialists were subsequently made available at a satellite site in Calais one day per week, which the Department increased to two days per week in March.

The planned opening of the new office will restore the Department's full-time presence in Calais.

Department employees who transferred to the Machias office following the closure of the former Calais office will be given the option to return to Calais. The Department plans to hire additional employees to staff the new office.

Anyone interested in public assistance benefits may visit My Maine Connection for information and to apply online. Information is additionally available by calling 855-797-4357.