Family Justice Center Receives Avon Foundation Grant

The Avon Foundation for Women has awarded a $50,000, one-year grant to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at the Family Justice Center (FJC) to create and fund the Avon Empowerment Self-Sufficiency Program for domestic violence survivors. The program is designed to provide survivors with guidance and assistance to create independent, violence-free lives.

The Montgomery County Family Justice Center is one of 32 grant recipients selected from nearly 150 applicants nationwide. It is a collaboration of public and private agencies dedicated to finding innovative programs to preserve the safety and dignity of families. Co-located at the FJC are representatives of the Sheriff’s Office, State’s Attorney’s Office, Police Department, Department of Health and Human Services, The House of Ruth Maryland and other private agencies.

For more information on the Montgomery County Family Justice Center, call Hannah Sassoon at 240-777-7099. For more about domestic violence services, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or online at

County Employees Recognized with Community Builder Awards

The Interagency Coordinating Committee for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (InterACC/DD) facilitates communication and cooperation between public and private agencies providing services for persons with developmental disabilities. It is a coalition of more than 30 public and private agencies that provide a variety of mostly adult services to County residents with developmental disabilities.

Each year, InterAcc/DD member agencies each honor one public servant (usually elected or appointed) and one staff person with a Community Builder Award in recognition of their contributions to advancing opportunities for people with developmental disabilities in the local community.

This year, four Montgomery County employees were among those recognized.

Lauren Newman is the administrator of Developmental Disability Services in Aging and Disability Services, Montgomery County Health and Human Services. She is a long-time advocate for staff and understanding the challenges and gifts that staff have to contribute. InterACC calls her “a real hero in Montgomery County for 20 years.”  Her award came from CALMRA, Inc., a community-based nonprofit that provides homes and services to adults with cognitive disabilities in Prince George's and Montgomery counties. Also receiving the award from CALMRA was staff member Dorcas Olaleye.

Art Wallenstein is Director of the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. He was recognized as “a tremendous advocate for employment of people with disabilities who has assisted over 15 people with developmental disabilities to become successfully employed.”  His award was received from Community Support Services, Inc. (CSS), a nonprofit committed to providing quality, community-based services to children and adults disabled by autism and other severe developmental disabilities. The staff person receiving the CSS award was Allen Barnes.

Uma Ahluwalia is Director of the Department of Health and Human Services. She provides a support and understanding of the issues of the agencies providing the services through policy and financial support. Her award was presented by Jubilee Association of Maryland that provides opportunities and support for people with developmental disabilities to live in and enrich their community while fulfilling their personal, family, and spiritual needs. The Jubilee staff award was presented to Margaret Kuenzli.

Steve Silverman is Director of the Department of Economic Development. He has worked with local nonprofits and recognizes their contributions that are vital to the area economy. His award was given by SEEC,  a nonprofit agency providing individualized, community-based supports to people with developmental disabilities to help them realize their version of The American Dream. Yemny Brazoban received the SEEC staff award.

POSTED AT: Monday, November 01, 2010 | 2:00:00 AM |
News and Information from Montgomery County Government, Public Information Office.
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