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WASHINGTON <br />1 196 <br />TOwNSN1P <br />Washington Township <br />8200 McEwen Road <br />Dayton, Ohio 45458 <br />937-433-0152 <br />FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: <br />March 4, 2020 <br />FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT: <br />Mark Metzger, Recreation Director, 433-0130 <br />Jacqueline Curl, Public Information Manager, 433-0152 <br />STAR Program for Vulnerable Residents is Recognized <br />Washington Township's efforts to support the needs of vulnerable residents through its <br />STAR Program have earned the Annual Award for Innovation in Local Government from the <br />Ohio City Manager's Association. <br />STAR is the brainchild of retired Deputy Sheriff Jeff Gray who coordinates the program as <br />a part-time employee at Washington Township's Rec West Enrichment Center for senior adults. <br />While working at the Washington Township Substation of the Montgomery County Sheriff's <br />Office, Gray encountered many people, most of them elderly, who were struggling with issues <br />that threatened their independence. Most lived alone, many did not have family or friends to <br />help, and all could have fallen under the radar if not for an alert deputy. <br />Gray took it upon himself to visit them between calls and help with everything from home <br />safety and repairs to swindles and financial insecurity. Many tasks, like installing grab bars, Gray <br />did himself. Others required referrals to the social service network. However, in all cases, he was <br />a caring, trusted friend for people who were isolated, alone and vulnerable. <br />As more people in need were identified, Washington Township began the STAR program <br />(Safeguarding Township Adult Residents) in 2016. Gray now makes regular visits to check on <br />the welfare of more than 100 residents and ensure that each person receives the best possible <br />response from first responders. This includes prominently displayed emergency medical forms; <br />front door lock boxes; and information that is entered into the regional dispatch system. <br />"Having medical information readily available has been a game changer for our fire <br />department, particularly when responding to calls where an individual is unresponsive," said <br />Township Administrator Jesse Lightle. "Hundreds of vulnerable residents are now more safe and <br />secure thanks to the STAR Program." Gray helps not only with many tangible challenges, but <br />with the intangible need for a caring human relationship, she added. Each participant receives a <br />birthday card and a cake discounted by DLM, a gift and card at the holidays, and an invitation to <br />two annual parties subsidized by Kroger. <br />