Thomas County gets adults off public assistance - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thomas County gets adults off public assistance

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April 5, 2006

Thomasville- Several south Georgia counties have eliminated adult welfare payments. A year ago in Thomas County, nearly 100 adults were getting public assistance. A major effort by DFACS has taken that number to zero.

Brightstar Learning Center molds young minds. Now's it's partnering with DFACS to help get people off public assistance and into the workforce.

"I think as a community there are different things that we should do to help other people to help them to help their families," said Monica Austin, Brightstar Owner.

Latrice Horton is a former DFACS recipient who now works at Brightstar.

"I can't really explain how you build up the courage to actually go ask for help," said Latrice Horton, Former DFACS Recipient.

That help put Latrice to work in an initiative to get nearly 100 people in Thomas County off temporary assistance for needy families. The team at DFACS found eight businesses willing to try.

"Zaxbys, Applebees, Waffle House, the Thomas County Board of education has been very good working with our clients," said Joan Pendergast, Community Resource Specialist.

"They said yeah, we'll give them an interviews, we said no we're not talking about interview, will you give them a job non competitive," said Andre Marria, Thomas Co. DFACS Director.

It's shaping the future to keep future generations off assistance by giving them a positive model to follow.

"It's very important for the children when the children are growing up seeing the parents get up and go to work," said Elizabeth Carter, DFACS Supervisor.

It has changed the lives of residents.

"It's worked out perfectly," said Horton.

The effort has made the Thomas County community more self sufficient. DFACS says there are still some people receiving supplemental assistance for their children in the form of food stamps or Medicaid.

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