Foodstamps Computer Fails

by Gretchen Graves
Published in the Cincinnati Homeless Grapevine, the precursor to Streetvibes

In the month of September, 37,929 clients were serviced at the four foodstamp centers scattered throughout Cincinnati. Of the 37,929 clients serviced, 32,219 received their benefits in the first 11 days of the month. The foodstamp centers are open from about 7:15 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. each day Monday-Friday.

In the month of October, however, systems failed at two of the four sites in the Cincinnati area. The sites affected were Over-the-Rhine and Northside.

Due to a computer glitch, these communities along with the residents were impacted tremendously. Many clients weer forced to go without food or scurry to the other locations in Lockland and Walnut Hills.

The system, which fist failed the last half of the day on Thursday, October 5, at about 1:00 p.m., was not up and running until October 11 at about 2:00 p.m.

This was a relief not only to the people residing in Northside, but to everyone receiving foodstamps.

During the downtime, which was caused locally in the database, centers which were open as usual were swamped with clients trying to get their stamps before the weekend. Not all the clients were successful.

More than a few had to go to social service agencies in the area. On at least one of the days, the Walnut Hills site serviced 6,666 clients in one day, causing them to extend their day by half an hour.

According to an employee of the Walnut Hills location, this is the first time the system has been down in a long time. But she did recall a time in February 1992 when the CRIS-E system failed throughout the entire state of Ohio.