(July 12, 2019) The Worcester County Local Management Board will solicit requests for proposals for four programs for children, having received the Worcester County Commissioners’ approval Tuesday.
Jessica Sexauer, director of the local management board, said each program allocated a maximum budget of $150,000 and is “funded through the local management board with support from the Governor’s Office for Children.”
The local management board in this and Maryland’s other 22 counties, is the creation of the Maryland General Assembly to direct and coordinate services for youth and families.
The four programs pursued by Worcester’s board would run from October 2019 to June 30, 2020.
Sexauer said the programs aim to help with mentorship, employment, incarceration, and trauma. She introduced the initiative during an April 2 county commissioners meeting.
One program, “Building Bridges to Stable Families,” references several statistics showing the deep poverty in Worcester County.
County Commissioner Chip Bertino lent his support to the effort.
“I think this is worthwhile and I hope [your agency] get[s] the grant money,” he said.
Forty-two percent of Worcester County public school students received free and reduced meals in 2018, according to data from the proposal. In 2017, 16.10 percent of Worcester County children lived below federal poverty guidelines. Depending on the number of people living in a household, those figures ranged from $12,060 with one person to $41,320 with eight people, according to the Department of Human Services.
Additionally, 3.47 percent of Worcester County Public School students were reported homeless in 2017, according to the state’s department of education. That’s higher than the 1.5 percent average for Maryland during the same year.
“I mention that obviously because we have a problem here,” Bertino said. “I mention it also because, for those people in Annapolis who believe that Worcester County is one of the wealthiest, these statistics bear a different reality.”
Bertino moved to approve the requests for proposals, which Commissioner Joshua Nordstrom seconded.
The requests for proposals are due by 1 p.m. on Aug. 12. Interested parties should submit one original and five copies to the Office of the County Commissioners, Attn: Kelly Shannahan, Asst. Chief Administrative Officer, Worcester County Government Center, 1 W. Market St., Snow Hill, MD 21863.