News Release

 

For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
Telephone:  (845) 486-2000
, FAX: (845) 486-2021,
countyexec@co.dutchess.ny.us

September 11, 2001

 

County Executive Announces Transportation Program Awards

Poughkeepsie. . . Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced the awarding of 15 cars and one van at a ceremony held September 11, 2001, through the Community Solutions for Transportation Program, funded through a New York State Department of Labor grant. 

“Thanks to this funding,” said Steinhaus, “the County Department of Social Services and BOCES have successfully partnered to administer this new program, which was designed to meet the transportation needs of low-income families to acquire or maintain employment.  The goal of the Transportation Program is to enable more people to obtain and continue employment, resulting in fewer people on assistance.”  Thus far, one van and 52 cars have been awarded, and the program has assisted 266 clients with employment/transportation issues. 

The project consists of various components:

Behind the Wheel/Road Experience & Pre-Licensing

This program assists individuals with obtaining a New York State learner’s permit, providing behind-the-wheel instruction/experience and/or a licensed driver and vehicle for the road tests.

Car Ownership Program

This program provides vehicles for eligible families that demonstrate a work-related need.  Vehicles donated by private individuals are repaired by BOCES Technical Center auto mechanics students or contract repair shops, or they are purchased through used car dealers with program monies.  Registration, inspection and a minimum deposit for car insurance are paid for through the program.

Transportation Services

Cars or bus fares are provided on a temporary basis to assist persons with transportation to and from work, job interviews or other work-related activities.

Defensive Driving Instruction, Car Maintenance Instruction and Car Seats may be obtained.

Auto Loan Program allows for interest-free or low-interest secured auto loans.

Among the recipients of these automobiles is a single mother of five children who is holding down two jobs as a certified nursing assistant and has a long distance to travel to work.  Receiving the car will enable her to reclaim her dream of returning to school to become a licensed practical nurse.  In fact, several of the men and women who received automobiles expressed thanks because they would be able to pursue educational goals now that they have reliable transportation.  A single mother who suffers from debilitating arthritis was in jeopardy of losing her job because the taxis were sometimes late and she was unable to stay for mandatory overtime; and another needed a reliable vehicle to accommodate the various shifts she was asked to work, since the bus system schedules did not match her start/stop times. 

A van was needed by The Community Transitions Center Program for youth, which works with  at-risk young adults 16 through 21 who are on probation as an alternative to incarceration.  The program addresses the issues that may have led to their trouble with the law.  Participants work on their GED (General Equivalency Diploma), learn life skills, participate in community service projects and learn job search skills – all with the goal of becoming productive members of the community.  The program had the use of only one van for about 20 individuals, curtailing daily activities.  The Community Solutions for Transportation grant could not be used for this purpose, but the staff did not give up.  They diligently sought out the donation of a vehicle and were successful, when Lester’s Auto Sales & Towing donated the 1990 Ford Van for their use. 

The County Executive added, “By working with these clients and helping them to obtain and maintain employment, the Department of Social Services has achieved more than solving ‘transportation’ issues.  They have enabled deserving recipients to make choices that will affect their lives and the lives of their children in positive, productive ways.  Most of these applicants are attempting to receive additional schooling or are holding down two jobs to keep their families together.  This is what the Community Solutions for Transportation Program is all about – helping people who want to work achieve their goal.”

-end-

2001 Press Releases