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Phil McConnell represents Work Opportunities, which received a vehicle from the Van GO program.
106 vehicles awarded to local groups through Van GO program since 2000
Snohomish County, Wash. – All sorts of people from all over Snohomish County will benefit from the latest round of Community Transit’s Van GO van grant program, including seniors, youth, families, the homeless and the disabled. The agency announced 10 organizations that will receive surplus vehicles at its board meeting Jan. 5.
The Van GO program provides retired vanpool vehicles – which have reached the end of their useful life for Community Transit – to community non-profits, who then use the vehicles to meet a variety of community needs: medical appointments, job or life skills training, trips to church or other social outings. The vehicles are awarded through a competitive process in which community groups demonstrate how they will use the vehicles to provide transportation service and estimate how many individual rides they will provide.
The winners include Cocoon House East (Monroe), Everett Gospel Mission, Kid’s Place Early Learning Center (Darrington), Lake Stevens Senior Center, Northwest Baptist Church (Marysville), Holly House (Edmonds), Snohomish Community Food Bank, Work Opportunities (Lynnwood), Village Community Services (Arlington) and Youth Dynamics (Arlington).
Each of these non-profit groups applied for a vehicle from the Van GO program and were selected because of the work they do to help people throughout their communities and the commitment they made to use the vehicles to serve local residents.
“These vehicles will provide thousands of trips for people who otherwise may have a hard time getting where they need to go,” said Community Transit CEO Joyce Eleanor. “At a time when we are forced to cut bus service, it’s wonderful to be able to provide surplus vans to community groups that will use them to help meet local transportation needs.”
Since the Van GO program began in 2000, the agency has provided 106 vehicles to a variety of non-profit organizations around Snohomish County. This year’s winners will each receive an eight-passenger van.
2012 Van GO recipients:
Cocoon House East – Monroe
Cocoon House provides emergency shelters for teens with no immediate housing options. Many of the teens have been involved with prostitution, gangs or crime as a means for survival. Cocoon House provides a safe environment for these homeless teens to begin the first steps toward healing. This Van GO van will provide 1,875 rides over the next year transporting at-risk youth to school and appointments.
Everett Gospel Mission
Everett Gospel Mission provides services to men and women from all over Snohomish County. Currently, the mission assists more than 250 homeless individuals daily. Transportation is a critical component of helping move people out of homelessness. Access to medical services, counseling sessions, appointments and programs is a need Everett Gospel Mission will begin to fulfill with this Van GO van. The mission plans to provide more than 2,100 rides this year for its clients.
Kid’s Place Early Learning Center – Darrington
Kid’s Place Early Learning Center serves the children and families of Darrington with four programs for low-income and at-risk youth. Kid’s Place will use its Van GO van to provide transportation to these children and their families for extracurricular activities, transportation to school, field trips, food services and at-risk programs. Kid’s Place is willing to provide transportation for anyone in need and estimates it will provide more than 1,100 rides this year.
Lake Stevens Senior Center
Lake Stevens Senior Center will use its Van GO van to provide necessary transportation to low-income and community seniors to attend medical appointments, shopping, recreational programs, the senior center meal site and other senior activities. The senior center plans to provide about 1,500 rides in the coming year.
Northwest Baptist Church – Marysville
Northwest Baptist Church is very active in its Marysville community. The church will use its Van GO van to provide transportation to seniors for outings, appointments and shopping. It also is expanding its youth programs and will use the van to help the youth get active. Northwest Baptist Church plans to provide more than 2,500 rides in the next year.
Holly House – Edmonds
Holly House provides for low income families during the holidays and year round. Holly House will use its Van GO van to transport foster children to appointments, school, meetings and outings, and also to prepare for annual holiday season festivities. All together, Holly House estimates it will provide more that 1,500 rides.
Snohomish Community Food Bank
Snohomish Community Food Bank is partnering with Community Kitchen, Zion Lutheran Church and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans to provide more than 4,000 rides to residents in east Snohomish County. The Van GO van will take residents to church, the food bank, the mobile medical unit and Community Kitchen. When the vehicle is available, the Snohomish Senior Center will utilize it for day trips.
Work Opportunities – Lynnwood
Work Opportunities has partnered with Washington Vocational Services and ARC of Snohomish County to provide a variety of high quality essential services for people with disabilities in Snohomish County. The groups help people with significant disabilities get into non-facility based community employment training and jobs. The Van GO van will provide nearly 1,600 rides for people with disabilities, increasing opportunities to participate in community activities and work. It will provide transportation to meetings, medical appointments, job interviews and places of employment.
Village Community Services – Arlington
Village Community Services will use its Van GO van to transport adults with significant developmental, mental health and/or physical disabilities to its residential, vocational and village music and arts programs. The organization plans on providing 3,100 rides this year to residents of north and northeast Snohomish County who participate in its services.
Youth Dynamics – Arlington
Youth Dynamics works with local middle and high schools by helping to provide mentoring and tutoring. This Van GO van will allow more students to participate in its programs, including adventure trips and after school programs. Youth Dynamics plans to provide more than 900 rides in the coming year.
Community Transit is responsible for providing transportation options for Snohomish County residents, including bus and paratransit service, vanpool and ridesharing options. Call Community Transit at (425) 353-7433 or (800) 562-1375 for bus information, or (888) 814-1300 for carpool or vanpool information, or go to www.communitytransit.org. You can also read our blog at www.communitytransit.blogspot.com, visit our Facebook page or see us on YouTube. Support local businesses and Community Transit when you Buy Local for Transit; read more at www.communitytransit.org/buylocal.