Franklin County is the latest victim of the budget axe, and the fishing village isn't the only rural area feeling the pinch.
In Franklin County 907 people are on Medicaid, over 600 people need food stamps to survive and hundreds rely on cash advances. In a matter of days those people will be forced to travel elsewhere for face to face service.
DCF is telling folks to find an Internet or pick up the phone to apply for services. The problem is most clients are elderly and have little access to both resources. Their only choice is to hit the road.
Just getting to offices is another battle; one hour to Port St. Joe or four hours to Tallahassee and back. The issue has made its way to the Capitol where state officials are stepping in.
Rep. Will Kendrick, (D) North Florida says, “First of all, we've experienced closings in other counties with a lot of dislike about those closings.”
Kendrick is taking his gripe to the secretary of DCF to ensure Franklin County residents won't fall through the cracks when it comes to food and health.
Jody Fortunas-Wilson, a retired DCF employee, says, “The elderly people need it. Their income is either eat or medicate. Which can they afford?”
Even former DCF workers feel the move is unfair and hope the agency will reconsider.
DCF says the Franklin County Economic Office will close around December 15 due to budget cuts.