Washington County was named an award recipient four times in three categories at the recent National Association of Counties conference in Las Vegas, Nev., July 14.

The county won awards in the areas of:

· County resiliency: infrastructure, energy and sustainability, with its BizRecycling program, a program of Ramsey/Washington Recycling and Energy. It was started in 2013 to help businesses enhance or start recycling and organics/food waste collection to increase commercial waste diversion rates in the two counties. BizRecycling connects businesses with recycling experts who can help identify recycling and waste reduction opportunities. Businesses receive free onsite consultations, technical assistance, and grants to implement best practices in waste management, with the goal of reaching 40 percent of business establishments in the two counties by the end of 2020.

· Criminal justice and public safety, with its dosage probation program, which relies on an offender’s internal motivation to change behavior. The offender can shorten the time they are under probation supervision by actively participating and completing programming to reduce the likelihood of future criminal behavior. 

· Criminal justice and public safety, with its East Metro Human Trafficking Task Force, which is comprised of the Washington County Attorney’s Office, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Woodbury Police Department, Oakdale Police Department, and Homeland Security Investigations. These agencies collaborate to proactively investigate sex trafficking cases to prosecute sex traffickers, protect and rehabilitate victims of sex trafficking, and decrease demand for the commercial exploitation of victims of sex trafficking.

· Children and youth, with its Read to Me: Babies Need Words Every Day program, in which Washington County Library partnered with Washington County Public Health and Environment to offer literacy-rich educational opportunities for families by providing parents of at-risk newborns with Read to Me totes during public health visits. 

Target Corp. donation to go to Shop with a Cop event in Forest Lake

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office received a donation from the Target Corporation. The County Board accepted both on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office on July 23. Target Corporation donated $1,500 to the Sheriff’s Office to support the Back to School: Shop with a Cop event in Forest Lake put on by the Sheriff’s Office. 

Washington County grants money to help families experiencing homelessness

Washington County will work with non-profit Solid Ground to serve 28 families experiencing homelessness, after the County Board approved an agreement with the agency July 23. The county will provide $141,399 in Family Homelessness Prevention and Assistance program funds to the agency for the service. The program was established by the Legislature in 1993 to assist families with children, youth/unaccompanied youth, and single adults who are experiencing barriers to housing, and is conducted through the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency with funds awarded on a biennial basis. 

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