At the 2022 Maryland Community Action Partnership Human Services Conference held during May 11 – 13, 2022 in Ocean City, Maryland, the Talbot County Council was awarded the Community Action Vision and Value Award. This year’s conference theme of “Future Focused: Advance, Build, Connect” highlighted improvements within communities as a result of community action services and partnerships. The Talbot County Council was nominated by Marilyn Neal, Executive Director, Neighborhood Service Center, for “continued support for Neighborhood Service Center in its mission toward eliminating poverty by empowering individuals and families to become self-sufficient.”
Council member Frank Divilio stated, “The last few years have been especially challenging. Many of these challenges are the same ones that the Neighborhood Service Center helps the public with daily. I am thankful that we already had many channels set up to help the community and appreciate everyone working together to keep us afloat. While we faced many challenges, I am beyond grateful for the programs that we already have in place and watching them expand rapidly to fill the needs.”
The Neighborhood Service Center located at 126 Port Street in Easton serves as the County’s Community Action Agency, providing services and assistance to low-income families and elderly residents of the county since 1969. Programs include After School Youth Program, Emergency Food Pantry, Electric Universal Service Program, Emergency Services Program, Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP), Mobile Food Pantry, On-the-Job Training for Homeless Individuals, and Rapid Rehousing. Additionally, the Neighborhood Service Center operates Webb’s Hope, a low-income rental property located at 36 West Street in Easton.
Talbot County has supported and partnered with Neighborhood Service Center on a variety of grants through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development including:
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) – Homeless Initiative for the acquisition of 6 South Street in Easton and renovation of three apartments ($414,000). Project completed in October 2018.
Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) – provides direct financial assistance and housing stability services to renters struggling to make payments for rent and utilities. Assistance can be for rental arrears, prospective rental payments, prospective and arrear utility and home energy costs, and “other expenses related to housing incurred due, directly or indirectly, to COVID”.
ERAP 1 – $2,439,498. Expenditure period commenced July 1, 2021 and will conclude on September 30, 2022.
ERAP 2 – $1,678,514. The award end date for ERAP 2 funds is December 31, 2022.
For more information about the Neighborhood Service Center please visit www.nsctalbotmd.org or 126 Port Street, Easton (410-822-5015).