Topic: Gina Lodge
Nashville, TN – This year, Tennessee was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy for its “dedication and extraordinary efforts” toward the goals of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Only 11 other states were similarly singled out. The recognition came primarily through the work of the state Department of Human Services’ Weatherization Assistance Program – a national leader and one that has weatherized close to 11,000 homes since July 2009. For that, Governor Phil Bredesen has proclaimed Saturday, October 30th as Weatherization Day in Tennessee to promote the economic and environmental benefits of this home energy efficiency program.
“In every corner of the state, citizens as well as contractors have benefitted from this program,” said DHS Commissioner Gina Lodge. “Thanks to Recovery dollars, the tireless work of DHS staff, and our partnerships with 18 local nonprofit and government agencies, we exceeded expectations. I’m honored that the Governor has proclaimed a Weatherization Day, validating those efforts.” «Read the rest of this article»
More than 10,900 Homes and counting as Stimulus Program Continues
Nashville, TN – Tennessee is a leader in the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). Nearly 11,000 homes have been weatherized across the state through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) since July of last year. The state was recently recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy for its “dedication and extraordinary efforts” toward the goals of the Recovery Act. Only eleven other states were recognized. A network of 18 community and local government agencies has helped Tennessee reach its WAP goals.
“Our partners across the state have worked tirelessly to meet and even exceed the goals we set out for them last year,” said DHS Commissioner Gina Lodge. “More than 10,000 Tennessee families are reaping the benefits along with hundreds of energy auditors and contractors who were put to work through this program.” «Read the rest of this article»
State agencies work to stem tide of crimes against vulnerable adults.
Nashville, TN – Nearly 9,500 reports of adult abuse, neglect and/or financial exploitation were reported last year to the Tennessee Department of Human Services’ Adult Protective Services (APS) unit. The number of reports has grown 23 percent in just five years.
To raise awareness of this crime, Governor Phil Bredesen has proclaimed June 15th “Elder Abuse Awareness Day” in Tennessee. The Department of Human Services and Commission on Aging and Disability are also working to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults. «Read the rest of this article»
Child Care Providers that offer Transportation put on Alert during Summer Months
Nashville, TN — In a renewed effort to ensure that comprehensive transportation rules are being followed, as well as remaining extra vigilant to keep children safe during hot summer days, child care providers across Tennessee who transport children will face increased inspections again this summer. The Department of Human Services licensing staff is cracking down with extra monitoring visits to providers who transport children. Those caught breaking the rules face a range of penalties, from being put on notice, probation or suspension of their operation.
Last summer more than 475 visits were conducted and 70 agencies were “Put on Notice” for violations that ranged from failure to conduct a walk-through to not reconciling the transportation logs. While violations have become less severe in the years since the transportation crackdowns began in 2003, DHS is not letting up. «Read the rest of this article»
DHS Office of Inspector General working to fight Flood Fraud
Nashville, TN – Thousands of Tennesseans from 45 disaster-designated counties received millions of dollars in food and cash assistance from May 13th through May 28th. The DHS-administered programs have helped put food on the table of more than 9,600 families who were not previously enrolled in the Food Stamp (now called SNAP) program. Nearly $4.4 million in Disaster SNAP benefits were distributed to these families. In addition, more than 5,400 families already enrolled in the program received replacement benefits for food that was lost due to power outages or flood damage. An additional 6,700 families were granted Disaster Supplemental SNAP benefits because of storm damage to their residences. More than $1.4 million was issued to these households.
DHS also administered a cash assistance program for eligible citizens who sustained flood damage to their homes. More than 12,500 families qualified for the $250.00 and $500.00 payments. Just under $5 million in disaster cash benefits were issued. «Read the rest of this article»
Working families benefit from ARRA funds
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – More than 4,000 children are now enrolled in the Child Care Recovery Scholarship program. This time-limited, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program is helping thousands of families across the state make ends meet by reducing their weekly child care bills.
“This Recovery Act program is already helping provide safe, quality child care to thousands of Tennessee children,” said Governor Phil Bredesen. “Our goal has been to reach as many children as possible and encourage families to utilize all the benefits available to them under this program. We encourage any working family that may benefit to talk with their licensed child care provider or area Boys & Girls club for information.”
The $42 million program, designed by the Tennessee Department of Human Services, is opened to all licensed child care providers and Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs across the state. The majority of enrollments are in Shelby County, with more than 900 children on the program, followed by Davidson County with 450 children. There are 300 children enrolled in Knox County and 240 in Chattanooga.
State earns performance bonus for getting benefits to needy citizens
Nashville – The Tennessee Department of Human Services this week was recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for having one of the nation’s top Food Stamp programs. Food Stamps, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP), help low-income families put food on the table each month. Tennessee was cited as giving its eligible citizens the best access to the program and earned the top performance award of $3.3 million.
“This award shows that Tennessee is a leader in delivering the benefits that our citizens need in a timely and efficient manner,” said Governor Phil Bredesen. “It is imperative that Tennesseans have easy access to programs that can provide assistance, especially during these tough economic times. I’m proud that the Department of Human Services is being recognized for delivering this vital food assistance program to our citizens.” «Read the rest of this article»
Thousands of Tennessee families will qualify for weatherization aid
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The federal government today released the second installment of Weatherization Recovery funds for Tennessee. More than $99 million is allocated to the Volunteer State under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Today’s award of $39.6 million will be spent to improve the energy efficiency of thousands of homes across the state through measures that include insulation, weather stripping and window replacement to qualified Tennesseans. The U.S. Department of Energy is releasing the funds incrementally, based on a state’s performance.
“We are very excited about this latest installment of Recovery funds” said Tennessee Department of Human Services Commissioner Gina Lodge. “It will move us further toward our goal of improving the energy efficiency of over 10,000 homes. We encourage citizens to apply for this program at their local Weatherization agency.” «Read the rest of this article»
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