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Rural transportation service moving forward through EWCS

by Patrick Raftis

GUELPH - Wellington County social services staff have been authorized to negotiate a service agreement with East Wellington Community Services (EWCS) to operate a rural transportation program.

Since 2007, the county has supported a funding agreement with the Community Resource Centre (CRC) in Fergus to provide a rural transportation program for north and Centre Wellington.

In October, county council referred a request from EWCS to fund a similar service in east Wellington to the special services manager for Ontario Works for follow-up with EWCS and CRC regarding the possibility of sharing staff and ensuring consistency of service.

EWCS requested funding of $114,550 (100% municipal dollars) in order to provide transportation for Ontario Works/Ontario Disability Support Program requirements, employment interviews, court services/requirements, food assistance/banks, doctor and medical appointments, housing appointments as well as employment and specialized counselling services.

The program would serve about 23,000 residents of Erin and Guelph-Eramosa.

The county provides approximately $190,000 to the north and Centre Wellington program, which serves a population of about 61,000.

At the Nov. 24 meeting, county council approved a social services committee recommendation to negotiate an agreement, including a provision that a potential agreement would be entered into on a pilot basis for 2017 and would not exceed a maximum of $75,400 in county funding.

Staff was also directed to undertake an evaluation of any expansion of the rural transportation service, including potential expansion of services to Puslinch Township.

“We determined it was a good thing to pilot,” councillor Rob Black told county council. “We also wanted to see an evaluation of the rural transportation service so we could see if it was making a difference.”

December 2, 2016


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