Representatives from U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk's office held mobile office hours at Tinley Park's Village Hall earlier this week to provide residents with assistance they may need with various federal programs.
The Republican senator from Illinois' staff set up at a table inside Village Hall from 9 a.m. to noon on Monday. Citing Kirk office policy, a male representative declined to state his name but said he had talked to a number of area residents who asked about "a variety of subjects," including student loans.
Residents appreciate these office hours, according to the representative.
"They're always very appreciative to have staff available," the senator's staffer said.
One man traveled from Lombard to ask about FEMA support for flooding-victims, he said, after reading about the office hours in the news media. One resident was present at about 11 a.m.
At such forums, visitors most commonly ask for help with such issues as banking and the FDIC, disability assistance, disaster assistance, environmental and tax issues, housing, immigration, Medicare and Medicaid, according to a statement released by Tinley Park officials. Questions about passports, Social Security, student loans, unemployment and veterans issues are also common.
"Cutting through the red tape of the federal government can be frustrating and confusing," Kirk said in the village's statement. "My staff and I are able to act as intermediaries between you and a federal agency when you have a problem."
The two staff members said Kirk, who did not attend Monday, has held these events downstate for several years. Later that afternoon, Kirk's staff held a similar event in Palos Hills.
Tinley Park Mayor Ed Zabrocki praised the senator's mobile office hours in a statement.
"Tinley Park is happy to extend to our residents the services of Senator Kirk's office," Zabrocki said.