DSS to get $32K award

Will be used for Wheels to Work program

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton County Department of Social Services will be receiving over $32,000 in state funding, which it wants to apply toward continuation of the Wheels to Work Program.

The program — run through the Fulmont Community Action Agency — assists social service recipients with transportation in their quest to be employed.

DSS Commissioner Anne Solar recently approached the Board of Supervisors’ Human Services Committee to request acceptance of a state award. She said DSS has been notified it will receive a $30,596 award through the state Office Temporary and Disability Assistance’s Transportation Initiative Program.

“In the past, the department has had a transportation program,” she said.

Solar said the state’s previous Transportation Initiative Program funding deadline was also extended, providing an additional $1,529 for Fulton County, for a total of $32,125.

The DSS official said Fulmont is “very interested” in continuing the Wheels for Work Program. The program provides eligible Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF recipients, who lack access to adequate transportation to maintain or obtain employment with services to assist in purchasing or repairing vehicles. The program also provides relevant training and support services.

Solar said DSS has worked “collaboratively” with Fulmont on the Wheels to Work Program in the past, and “found it helpful for some TANF recipients to obtain or maintain employment.

“This really is a very valuable program,” Solar said.

She said some people are just starting jobs, but they lack the vehicles to keep working.

The committee supported not only acceptance of the grant, but entering into a contract with Fulmont for Wheels to Work. The full board is looking to finalize the deal Monday, for which the county receives 100 state reimbursement.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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