MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County Continuum of Care is seeking people from all different sectors of the public to take part in a task force focused on looking at transportation and child care in the county.
The task force’s introductory meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Feb. 21, in the Piqua City Commission chambers on the second floor of the municipal building in Piqua, located at 201 W. Water St. Those who want to sign up to attend the task force meeting or for more information about it can visit miamicountycoc.fusionucc.org.
“It is open to the public,” Sue Parker, executive director of Miami County Continuum of Care, said.
This initiative was proposed by the Miami County Drug Free Coalition and is overseen by the Miami County Continuum of Care.
Parker explained that they will be looking at transportation and child care, such as what is available, if it is sufficient, and if it is a barrier for residents to be successful, whether that means maintaining employment, sobriety, or other means of success.
Bruce Jamison, Piqua chief of police and Miami County Continuum of Care board member, said the ultimate goal of the task force is to produce a report to the community in regard to transportation and child care in the county, which may promote resources and create an action plan to address possible needs.
“We’ll start out talking about what are the needs,” Jamison said. Then they will consider what the perfect transportation solution would be before looking at the available, reliable resources in the county.
They are seeking to look at transportation and child care from a variety of perspectives, such as the employer and human resources perspective.
“What is it that keeps you from filling your open position?” Parker asked as a possible question for those individuals. “What is keeping people from being financially stable?”
They are also seeking the perspectives of consumers and those who may need more options for transportation and child care.
They pointed to the success of Miami County Continuum of Care’s Rides to Work program, which provides some residents in Tipp City and Troy with transportation to and from work or appointments with health care professionals at little cost to the applicable riders. In 2016, the Rides to Work program provided over 425 rides per month to those in employment or receiving health care services. In 2018, Parker said they provided over 5,500 rides with just one van.
“This is a method that works,” Jamison said.
Parker said that they reach the maximum number of people that they can transport every day and that they have to turn people away. They began the program to help work with domestic violence victims and homeless individuals, first working with Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City.
“We want to expand into Piqua,” Parker said. “We need to have people buy into it.”
The program is funded through the donations of the United Way, the Troy Foundation, and the Miami County Foundation.
In looking at child care, they will see if it is a possible barrier for residents in securing and keeping appointments as well as what reliable child care is available, including child care for those who work second and third shift jobs.
After identifying resources, the task force will then start putting together an action plan, Jamison said.
“We want to promote reliability and safety in both of these issues, transportation and child care,” Jamison said.
For additional information about the task force, contact Parker at (937) 469-0584 or Jamison (937) 778-2029.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org