Social Services Department

DeSoto County Social Services Department Header

The DeSoto County Social Services Department solely focuses on improving the quality of life for people in need by providing comprehensive county-wide social services.  The department’s commitment to the provision of these services stems from the belief that the quality of life in our community is directly impacted by our ability to respond to the needs of our most troubled and vulnerable citizens.  DeSoto County Social Services has helped hundreds of individuals and families with a wide range of needs including food, shelter, transportation, medical assistance and energy assistance through programs administered within the department.

The following are programs offered by DeSoto County Social Services:

General Public Transportation/DeSoto-Arcadia Regional Transit (DART)

►Housing Programs

►Indigent Burial

►Medicaid – County Billing

►Health Care Responsibility Act (HCRA)

The various transportation programs ensure the availability of efficient, cost-effective, and quality transportation services for transportation disadvantaged persons and the general public. Transportation services are provided to DeSoto County residents under a variety of funding sources such as the  Transportation Disadvantaged Program, Section 5311 Non-Urbanized Area Formula Program, Section 5316 Jobs Access and Reverse Commute Program, Section 5317 New Freedom Program, Section 5310 Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program, and The State Service Development Program.

DeSoto County has established a Bus Route Service (DART – DeSoto Arcadia Regional Transit) that offers public transportation services which is open to the general public.  This regularly-scheduled public transit service provides a deviated fixed-route public transportation service in the Arcadia area and in DeSoto County.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).   LIHEAP is a Federally-funded program that helps low-income households with their home energy bills.  LIHEAP can help residents stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. By doing so, residents can reduce the risk of health and safety problems (such as illness, fire, or eviction). 

The Social Services Department administers housing projects such as the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) administered by Florida Housing Finance Corporation and the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). DeSoto County also is a member of the Heartland HOME Consortia. Under these housing programs residents can purchase homes with down payment assistance; have homes repaired for health and safety reasons; and even have a home replaced with a concrete block structure to provide homeowners with a safe and sanitary home.

INDIGENT BURIAL- The County contracts with the local funeral home to provide indigent burial (cremation).  A local policy has been adopted regarding disposing of deceased, indigent and unclaimed bodies.  If there are living relatives, friends or responsible parties who are also found to be indigent then cremation assistance may be provided. 

MEDICAID - COUNTY BILLING All County residents receiving Medicaid are provided services with expenses being shared by the federal, state and county governments.  Verification of residence is required before the County share is paid. This includes hospital and nursing home care. The County share is funded through the General Fund.

HEALTH CARE RESPONSIBILITY ACT (HCRA) The Act provides assistance with hospital bills to qualified indigent individuals for services received at "participating out-of county hospitals". A financial assistance is provided with emergency inpatient or outpatient hospital services that are necessary to prevent loss of life, irreparable physical damage or loss or serious impairment of a body function.

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