Transportation Program Helps Disabled Get and Keep Jobs

Grants from Rotary Club of North Bethesda and Barwood help fund project


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Transportation program helps disabled get and keep jobs

Grants from Rotary Club of North Bethesda and Barwood help fund project

 

Three months after launching a partnership to fill transportation gaps in Montgomery County for disabled people trying to find jobs and get to work, the founders say they have helped two dozen people, including eight who have found new jobs.

Working with The Rotary Club of North Bethesda, District 7620 of Rotary International and Barwood Inc., Cornerstone Montgomery, a Bethesda non-profit, devised a program to provide free transportation to disabled persons so they could get to job interviews and their jobs when no public transit is available.

The program is funded jointly by a $2,400 grant from the Rotary and a $2,000 grant from Barwood, the taxi company. The money paid for gift cards, which are used to pay for cab rides. So far they have funded  24 taxi-cab rides since early October, said Heidi Webb, development director at Cornerstone. Among those who were provided transportation, eight people began new jobs, two used the program for greater ease of travel to their current jobs, and 14 people were able to attend job interviews and career fairs, Webb said.

The transportation program will continue through 2015, Webb said, and has won praise from the Rotary and Barwood, and from Belva Benbow, who hires employees for Kmarts in Aspen Hill and Hyattsville.

Dr. Bruce Fowler, a Rotarian and volunteer mentor for Cornerstone Montgomery said in a statement provided by Cornerstone that the program “really works. Reliable transportation, which accommodates persons with special needs and unusual work schedules, is the only barrier between individuals in their programs and getting and keeping gainful employment.”

“Someone with a disability, who is coming out of poverty, must normally rely on public transportation. If that’s not feasible or if they go to and from work during the graveyard shift when public transportation is not operating…then you have a safety issue. This unique partnership program is focused on directly addressing these concerns.”

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