Residents in the Southern part of El Paso County will have a lot less traveling to reach economic assistance resources, especially when they need help with their EBT card.

The El Paso County Department of Human Services is co-located at the Peak Vista Health Center in Fountain. Families in need can visit the office inside Peak Vista for economic assistance services including eligibility determination and application processing of medical and food assistance benefits. The most recent addition is an office to process Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, only the second location in the County.

Families receiving food assistance or other aid use the card like a credit card at eligible locations such as grocery stores and farmers markets for approved purchases. Until this site opened, families needed to go to the Citizens Service Center location, 20 miles away. In the 80911 ZIP code around the Fountain location, more than 1,700 households are served in the food assistance program.

“This new EBT site is an important resource to help families in need in the region,” said Julie Krow, El Paso County Department of Human Services executive director. “Co-locating with other community partners offers an efficient and effective way to improve ways to help families achieve self-sufficiency.”

Peak Vista has been a strong partner in developing opportunities to reach citizens, she added.

El Paso County went through a strict process with the Colorado Department of Human Services before the EBT Processing site received formal approval. The CSC location processes approximately 2,000 EBT cards each month. Only a handful of counties in Colorado offer EBT services at more than one location. In a geographically large County like El Paso County, it can be difficult for people to reach resources.

“El Paso County is always striving to improve services and access for County residents,” El Paso County Commissioner Longinos Gonzalez Jr. said. “The expansion of County services to the southern part of the County has been a priority for us.”

The DHS Office and EBT site at the Peak Vista Health Center is open from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays (except County holidays). The site is closed for lunch from noon to 1 p.m. The office is at 350 Lyckman Dr., Fountain, CO 80817. The phone number is (719) 444-8303. The Pikes Peak Workforce Center also has resources at the same location.

“We thank Commissioner Gonzalez and County staff for providing this opportunity,” said Fountain Mayor Gabriel Ortega. “We hope this improves access to our residents so they can receive the assistance they need.”

Much of the application process for economic assistance can be completed online, and applicants can also check case details through Colorado PEAK. People can then pick up their card in person or have it mailed to them, which can take longer. Coloradans can visit to screen and apply for medical, food, cash, and early childhood assistance programs.