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Community in Motion has purchased a new van to provide transportation for seniors and people with disabilities.
The organization now has two minivans and a minibus.
Founded in 1957 as the Human Services Council, executive director Jeananne Edwards said Community in Motion is excited about the transportation possibilities the new vehicle offers.
“We have two minivans that we were able to get through C-Tran for the volunteer driver program, and we also have an accessible vehicle, which is a minibus with a lift so we can take people to appointments. , as long as we have volunteers to do it,” Edwards said. “We also allow other nonprofits in the area to use the van for different purposes.”
Due to the pandemic, she said there haven’t been many group trips requiring their bus. Edwards said most of their transportation is brokered by other transportation services and volunteers who drive their own vehicles, while the two minivans and the minibus are owned by Community in Motion.
Volunteers who use their own vehicle can have their miles reimbursed. Edwards said they currently have about 15 volunteers and could always use more. Volunteers take elderly and disabled people on about 150 trips a month, she said. If the group had more volunteers, she thinks they could double the number of trips.
The nonprofit organization helps people get to work and provides non-emergency transportation services to people on Medicaid. They also help people who need transportation to get to the doctor, Edwards said.
She said the program was popular with the population it serves.
“(The program is) an incredible success,” Edwards said. “We strive to partner with anyone in the area to help with transportation needs and we are known for that. We have great providers like Healthcare Authority, as well as (Washington State Department of Transportation) and C-Tran, who we have many programs with. There is a definite need out there for that.
She said Community in Motion also works with Battle Ground HealthCare, the Senior Services Network and United Health.
About six months ago, Community in Motion unveiled its new North County commuter program, which focuses on residents of northern Clark County in areas like Yacolt, Ridgefield and Amboy. The shuttle program also offers different routes to bring seniors to Battle Ground so they can shop, get to medical appointments, or make other necessary trips.
The organization lost about half of its drivers when the pandemic began, Edwards said.
“A lot of our drivers and our seniors had to take care of themselves and we understand that,” she said. “We also had new people and others who continued with us. With non-urgent transportation, we are at about 70% of what we were doing before in terms of the number of trips. With the volunteers, we are about 85% where we were.
She noted that the organization was not able to take the elderly to the movies or the hairdresser as often.
The services are free. To contact Community in Motion or for transportation services, go online to communityinmotion.org/contact. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.