UPDATE 9/9/13 @ 7:30 p.m.
CHESAPEAKE, OHIO (WSAZ) -- Seventeen hours a month you will find Thina Patterson at the Chesapeake Community Center.
Like so many families, Thina's fell on hard times when the economy hit rock bottom in 2007.
Patterson was a stay-at-home mom, but these days she's helping to clean at the Community Center as a way to offset the food assistance her family receives.
Patterson's husband works. But it is still not enough money to put food on the table.
She said asking for help wasn't easy.
"It was really hard. I mean, you go from having money to pay for stuff, and pride kind of gets in the way," she explained.
Patterson said the opportunity at the Community Center could help lead her to another job in housekeeping or janitorial services.
For the Chesapeake Community Center, the work is priceless, according to Ruth Damron, who is the director of the center.
"It helps a great deal because otherwise we would have to be paying money, and it doesn't cost us anything to have them come in," Damron explained.
Soon, more people will join these ranks. And it's a sign the economy is getting better.
"We were inundated with applications and people on public assistance," said Donald Myers, the director of Job and Family Services in Lawrence County, Ohio.
When the unemployment rate skyrocketed an exemption was made for single able-bodied people receiving assistance.
The bottom line was there were too many people and not enough work programs or training programs in which to send them.
With the economy turning around, Ohio Gov. John Kasich has decided it's time to get those folks back on track.
The number of people needing assistance is still high, but it is more manageable.
Myers says they still need places for folks to go.
"Our work sites are pretty limited, but we will be reaching out to individuals trying to get more businesses community leaders trying to get more sites," Myers said.
The requirement will cover able-bodied adults without
They will be required to spend at least 20 hours a week working, training for a job, volunteering or performing a similar type of activity unless they live in one of 16 high-unemployment counties.
The requirements begin next month but those failing to meet them would not lose benefits until Jan. 1.
More than 1.8 million Ohioans receive food stamps.
The exempt counties are Adams, Brown, Clinton, Coshocton, Highland, Huron, Jefferson, Meigs , Monroe, Morgan, Muskingun, Noble, Ottawa, Perry, Pike and Scioto .
+ Ashland, KY
+ Athens, OH
+ Beckley, WV
+ Charleston, WV
+ Clarksburg, WV
+ Clay, WV
+ Gallipolis, OH
+ Huntington, WV
+ Ironton, OH
+ Logan, WV
+ Morgantown, WV
+ Paintsville, KY
+ Parkersburg, WV
+ Pikeville, KY
+ Pomeroy, OH
+ Ripley, WV
+ Spencer, WV
+ Sutton, WV
+ Wayne, WV
+ Wheeling, WV
+ Williamson, WV