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Montgomery County Job and Family Services opens mobile unit to bring services directly to residents

A 38-foot bus is parked behind a group of county commissioners cutting a red ribbon.
Shay Frank
Montgomery County Commissioners and organizers cut the ribbon on the Job and Family Services On the Move Mobile Unit.

Montgomery County Job and Family Services has a new "On the Move Mobile Unit" to bring services directly to people in the community.

The 38-foot vehicle offers mobile access to county resources and public assistance services. The van will also be used for recruitment of foster parents and JFS employees.

The vehicle will serve as a link between neighborhoods and key locations in the county that need assistance, Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge said.

“Our residents and community members will be able to access employment support, public assistance programs, child support, child and adult protective services, and so many, many other essential resources,” she said.

The JFS On the Move Mobile Unit is equipped with eight workstations, a private conference room, high speed WIFI and printing services.

The Board of County Commissioners used $422,000 from federal COVID relief to build the unit.

Montgomery County Commissioner Carolyn Rice said the mobile unit was designed to meet residents where they are.

“Not only is this vehicle top of the line in terms of technology and accessibility, but it's also top of the line in design," she said. "The exterior represents everybody that we're here to support and save. In emergencies, the mobile unit will serve as a center point for residents to quickly identify where they can go for help.”

According to Rice, the county has secured more than 50 partnerships through the Mobile Unit such as the YWCA, the House of Bread, Catholic Social Services, Goodwill and more.

Michelle Niedermier, director of Montgomery County JFS, said the vehicle will help the organization assist people in the community on all fronts.

"Citizens of all ages are receiving essential support, resources and assistance to ensure the community well-being and prosperity," Niedermier said. "This mobile unit isn't just about bringing resources to people, but also hope and the knowledge that they do not have to navigate their hardships alone."

Every month, Niedermier said Montgomery County JFS typically serves about 180,000 people receiving Medicaid and approximately 72,000 residents who are receiving SNAP benefits. The team also serves more than 7,000 families with subsidized child care.

Through the addition of the mobile unit, Neidermier said they can expand their reach and bring these resources to the community.

Shay Frank was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. Before working at WYSO, Shay worked as the Arts Writer for the Blade Newspaper in Toledo, Ohio. In addition to working at the paper, she worked as a freelancer for WYSO for three years and served as the vice president of the Toledo News Guild. Now located back in the Dayton area, Shay is thrilled to be working with the team at WYSO and reporting for her hometown community.