July 15, 2019

Tell Us What is on Your Mind: County Residents Encouraged to Participate in Community Survey

We want to hear from you! Do you have a few minutes to share your thoughts and perspectives on local government, its services and quality of life?

The County’s online survey, open through Friday, July 19, can be taken in English, Spanish or Chinese.

The 2019 Resident Survey was mailed to 5,000 randomly selected County households in the first week of June. Residents who did not receive the questionnaire in the mail are encouraged to participate online.

County Remembers Homeless Individuals at Third Annual Memorial Service

A recent memorial service remembered 31 individuals who died in the past year while homeless, or who were previously homeless and received County and nonprofit services. The names of the individuals were read by nonprofit organizations who work with the County to provide services. Those who died were remembered as not just a ‘homeless’ person, but as a community member.

In the annual Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Point-in-Time survey conducted in Jan. 2019, there were 647 persons experiencing homelessness in Montgomery County and 85 families with children. Since 2017, there has been a 28 percent decrease in the overall number of persons experiencing homelessness, the most significant decrease in any two-year period since 2009.

Montgomery County achieved the goal of ending veteran homelessness in Dec. 2015 and continues to work to maintain functional zero homelessness through continual monitoring and tracking.

In 2017, the Interagency Commission on Ending Homelessness launched "Inside (Not Outside)," an initiative aimed at ending chronic homelessness in the County. Through the efforts of Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services and nonprofit providers in the community such as Bethesda Cares, Catholic Charities, Coalition for the Homeless and Interfaith Works, 420 individuals have been placed in permanent supportive housing.

A current focus is on ending homelessness for families with children.

More information about services for the homeless and data on progress made is available at montgomerycountymd.gov/homelessness.

Brookside Gardens Celebrates 50 Years

Brookside Gardens recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Brookside Gardens opened on July 13, 1969. Five decades later, Brookside Gardens attracts more than 400,000 visitors annually and features permanent and seasonal displays and two conservatories. It hosts engaging events and programs, including the Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly and Caterpillar exhibit and the Garden of Lights display.

For more information, visit the Montgomery Parks website.

Registration Is Open for County’s Thanksgiving Parade

Montgomery County is accepting applications to participate in the televised Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade in Downtown Silver Spring. The County is looking for interesting and talented community groups and other organizations to march in the parade.

The Saturday before Thanksgiving is the one day of the year when the Downtown Silver Spring streets are overrun with turkeys, dinosaurs, penguins, reindeer, marching bands, dancing groups, floats, balloons, and Santa.

Applications to participate are due by Monday, Sept. 23.

The Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade will be held on Saturday, Nov. 23 beginning at 10 a.m. For more information, visit the Downtown Silver Spring website.

Transfer Station Now Accepting Credit and Debit Cards for Tipping Fees

The Montgomery County Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station now accepts credit cards to pay for tipping fees. Previously, only cash and checks were accepted. The fees primarily impact commercial users with trash loads or yard waste loads of 500 pounds or more.

All major credit cards are accepted including debit cards, American Express, and Apple Pay.

The current fees for trash loads exceeding 500 pounds is $60 per ton. The fees for materials delivered for disposal in open-top roll-off boxes (for all amounts) is $70 per ton. The fees for yard waste exceeding 500 pounds is $46 per ton.

More information is available in the press release.

Community Forum Focuses on Eliminating Hate and Violence from the County

Community members are invited to participate in a community forum aimed to confront and understand our past related to hate and violence in the County so we can work together on the shared goal of building a more unified, cohesive community.

The forum is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 6:45 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building located at One Veterans Plaza. “Remembering the Past to Protect the Future” will be hosted by Montgomery County’s Human Rights Commission, the Office of Human Rights, the Department of Police and the Committee Against Hate/Violence.

The program will include film screenings of “This Little Light of Mine: The Legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer,” a documentary by Robin Hamilton of ARound Robin Productions and “Burning: The Lynching of George Armwood,” a documentary by Will Schwarz.

Following the documentaries, Schwarz, a Baltimore-based filmmaker, video producer and founder of the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project, will provide a brief overview of the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project, Inc. In addition, local historian and The Menare Foundation, Inc. President Anthony Cohen will discuss lynchings that took place in the County. James Stowe, the director of Human Rights will give a brief overview of the County’s current Remembrance Lynching Activities. A Police Department representative will present the current status of county hate crimes.

Human Rights Commissioner and Montgomery County Human Rights Hall of Fame member Terry Vann will moderate a panel discussion and a question and answer segment.

Stowe and Schwarz will be joined on the panel by Acting Police Chief Marcus Jones; Anthony Cohen; and Willie Pearl Mackie King, who transcribed Dr. Martin Luther King’s letter from the Birmingham Jail.

More information about the event is available in the press release.