LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Sonia Wheeler tried to visit the Social Security office in Lafayette on Wednesday only to find a sign on the door that said closed. Wheeler said she found a doorbell and eventually was able to talk to someone.
"A lady came to the door and she said it was shut down for the day and I could possibly call and talk to someone about whatever business it is," Wheeler said.
Wheeler wasn't the only one having trouble getting the services they needed from the office. Area IV energy assistance coordinator Kim Widner said while their office stayed open during the shutdown a number of her clients ran into the same problem at the Social Security office.
"So we would send them to the Social Security office to get proof of their income, well during the shutdown they were not able to get that information because the Social Security office wasn't at full staff," Widner said. "It put a little bit of a burden on them."
Thursday was a different story. Wheeler said when she heard that the government shutdown was over she went back.
"I'm glad they're open today," Wheeler said. "I wouldn't have known that if I didn't go to that door though. I saw a mailman ring the doorbell and I was at the bus stop over there, so when I saw him I did the same thing."
In a statement from Social Security Administration spokeswoman Carmen Moreno said in part, "Social Security offices remained open during the government shutdown and provided limited services. We are in the process of restoring the services that were discontinued as a result of the shutdown..."
With the office getting back to business as normal, people leaving the building told News 18 it was crowded.
Widner said with more people coming to her office for heating assistance this week she'll be sending more people to the Social Security office soon.
"We're expecting more people to come in," Widner said. "Today everyone pretty much came in with what they've needed, so we haven't had to send anybody there today, but I look forward to the rest of the week and even next week we'll be sending people there."
Nelson Mandela, who became one of the world's most beloved statesmen when he emerged from 27 years in prison to negotiate an end to white minority rule in South Africa, has died.
Prosecutors have filed rape charges against a Fort Wayne police officer, saying he attacked a woman he had arrested for drunken driving.
More than 300 adult students, working to get a high school diploma, have a new home in Lafayette.