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Fulton County Social Services receives federal grant

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton County Department of Social Services has received a $37,894 federal grant to be used for transportation needs of those receiving social services benefits.

DSS Commissioner Anne Solar recently informed the Board of Supervisors’ Human Services Committee of the grant, which is 100 percent paid through the federal government.

She said Fulton County DSS was notified of an Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s Transportation Initiative Program award of $37,894. The grant period runs through Dec. 31.

“In the past, we’ve used it for Wheels for Work,” Solar said.

Wheels for Work is a program providing vehicles for people on social services needing transportation to get to jobs or job interviews. But Solar said her department will analyze the situation and decide what specifically the grant money will be used for.

Solar said that DSS has “other needs,” but wasn’t specific. She admitted transportation is a “problem” for those receiving certain benefits but employed through DSS programs.

The committee voted to accept the award and modify the DSS 2021 budget accordingly.

Solar noted her department received the grant in the past — prior to 2020 — and provided the Wheels for Work program through Fonda-based Fulmont Community Action Agency.

She said eligible Temporary Assistance for Needy Family recipients, or TANF recipients, who have inadequate transportation to maintain or obtain employment are provided services to assist in purchasing or repairing vehicles. She said they are provided relevant training and support services.

Solar said that while Wheels for Work has been valuable in providing necessary transportation for TANF recipients, the department is currently reviewing transportation needs and grant options before making a final recommendation on use of the funds.

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