Happy National Drive Electric Week! We have some exciting news to share- Red Hook has secured funding, through a NYS DOT grant, for electric passenger vans to provide transportation for seniors and differently-abled individuals. The Ascienzo Family Foundation wrote a letter of support for the grant, and is working to provide matching funds to help support this initiative. We look forward to working with the town and other community partners to implement this ambitious plan.
Transportation is vital for enabling senior community members to stay connected to social services, get to medical appointments, and stay connected with friends and family around town. In 2011 the Office of Aging surveyed seniors in the area and found that over 80% cited transportation as being one of the top five biggest problems for seniors. According to a study done by the Poughkeepsie-Dutchess County Transportation Council in 2015 “transportation is vital in keeping individuals that have disabilities engaged in the community. Whether trips are for medical appointments, work/day habilitation, shopping, or socialization/recreational opportunities, the provision for transportation affords those physically or cognitively unable to drive, a measure of independence, which is linked to a higher quality of life. Without transportation, individuals are reliant on others – usually family or other caregivers – for their transportation needs.”
Lastly, a note from our Director and Founder Nick Ascienzo: We’re encouraged that this initiative will lead to increased collaboration with community groups in the Red Hook area. Elder mobility to and from programs, appointments, and other venues were the underlying goals of our outreach, but an expansion of Red Hook transportation services benefits the entire community - integrating generations - their needs and activities, is the essence of community building.
Congrats to the Town of Red Hook for securing this grant!