Economic Stability and Self-Sufficiency

Economic Stability and Self-Sufficiency

The "Hunters Green Business Center Transit Needs" pilot project strategy has been approved by the Governor's Office for Children (GOC). The "Hunters Green Business Center Transit Needs" strategy, to be known operationally as the "Hopewell Road Express," is a pilot project to transport Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) clients, as well as other clients being serving by agencies whose mission it is to improve the economic stability and self-sufficiency of families, from the designated Washington County Public Transportation Department (County Commuter) stops to the Hopewell Road employers. Utilizing the data collected on ridership from this pilot project, it is the intent that the County Commuter would be able to apply for Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) funding to sustain and/or expand this public transportation route given the documented need for service. This strategy was proposed by the Washington County Community Partnership for Children & Families (WCCP) Board and approved by the Washington County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) in June of this year.
On October 24, David Engle, Director of the Washington County Department of Social Services (DSS) and WCCP Board Chair, and Kevin Cerrone, County Commuter Director, met with the BOCC to provide an update on the "Hopewell Road Express" project. Mr. Engle stated that Secretary McCabe from the Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) informed them that GOC had approved $166,000 for the first year of the study, and DHR will provide funding for the second year based on the percentage of the ridership of DSS clients, which will be approximately 50%. Mr. Engle reported that DHR and GOC were asking if Washington County would fund the remaining $40,000 needed for the second year. Mr. Cerrone informed the BOCC that he could apply for a MTA grant for the last piece of the funding since he would have the necessary ridership data at that time. The BOCC authorized Mr. Cerrone to apply to MTA for grant funding for the second year of the project.
On November 3, a press conference was held at Hopewell Road where the funding of this project was publicized. On hand were DHR Secretary McCabe, GOC Executive Director Arlene Lee, Maryland Department of Transportation CEO Lisa Dickerson, Commissioner Jim Kercheval, DHR Family Investment Director Kevin McGuire, DSS Staff, County Commuter Director Kevin Cerrone, WCCP Director Stephanie Stone and a representative from one of the Hopewell Road businesses.
As previously indicated, the "Hopewell Road Express" project will serve, in addition to DSS clients, the clients of other agencies whose mission it is to improve the economic stability and self-sufficiency of families as well. These partners will be identified during the planning process. The partnering agencies and DSS will provide clients with the employment training, coaching and support that they have traditionally provided.
For more information regarding the "Hopewell Road Express," please contact Tom Kline, WCCP project coordinator at 240-313-2092.