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Snohomish County, Wash. – Golden keys and giggles from school children are not the norm at a Community Transit board of director’s meeting. Ten nonprofits and some very special guests gathered in the boardroom Thursday, as the agency announced the recipients of the 14th Van GO vehicle grant program.
Community Transit Board Chair, Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling, announced that two clubs within the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County were Van GO recipients. Six school-aged members stole the show when they accepted keys on behalf of their clubs for vans that will be used to transport kids to and from school and summer programs.
The Mukilteo and Edmonds Boys & Girls Clubs were two out of 10 groups selected to receive retired Community Transit vans. The ten surplus vans, earmarked for auction, were awarded to local nonprofit organizations to further meet the local demand for transportation. Collectively, the vehicles will provide 42,000 annual trips for youth, survivors of domestic violence, seniors and others that will benefit from the important work carried out by the local nonprofits.
Community Transit launched the Van GO program in 2000 and has since awarded 136 vans and wheelchair lift-equipped paratransit vehicles to qualified 501(c)3 organizations throughout Snohomish County. These organizations primarily serve residents of the Community Transit service area. This includes all incorporated cities and towns in Snohomish County, as well as the Tulalip Reservation and portions of unincorporated Snohomish County, with the exception of Everett.
More information about the Van GO program is online www.communitytransit.org/VanGo.
“We are excited today to grant some surplus vehicles to nonprofit organizations that enhance the access to transportation for all of the people of Snohomish County,” Community Transit CEO Emmett Heath said.
This year, 30 groups submitted applications demonstrating how they would use the vehicles to benefit people in their community. Ten nonprofits now have the ability to provide trips to the communities they serve thanks to retired vans in the competitive grant program.
This year’s Van GO recipients include:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County – (2) 15 passenger vans
Mukilteo and Edmonds Boys & Girls Clubs promotes and enhances the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence. Combined, the two clubs expect to provide over 15,000 trips by transporting children to and from school, field trips, and summer camp.
Courage to Change Housing – 7 passenger van
Courage to Change Housing provides housing and transportation to clients who are in recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol. Through compassion and respect they help give each client the opportunity to become successful and independent. Courage to Change Housing expects to provide 4,888 trips to men and women who have committed to the betterment of their lives through recovery from addiction.
Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County – 15 passenger van
Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County operates the only completely confidential full-service emergency shelter serving all of Snohomish County that is specifically dedicated to domestic violence victims. Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County expects to provide 3,224 trips that include helping victims and their children escape abuse and access much needed services.
Homage Senior Services – 7 passenger van
Homage Senior Services helps promote independence, preserve dignity and enhance the quality of life for older adults and people with disabilities. Homage Senior Services expects to provide over a 1,000 trips annually to help get residents to their much needed dialysis and medical appointments as well as provide transportation to their work locations.
Miracles and Memories Academy – 7 passenger van
Miracles and Memories Academy operates a day center where adults with cognitive and intellectual disabilities come for respite care, they also provide engagement opportunities for individuals living in rehabilitation facilities. Miracles and Memories Academy expects to provide 5,230 trips annually by transporting individuals to and from their center, providing access to much needed services and taking participants on field trips.
Snohomish Senior Center – 15 passenger van
Snohomish Senior Center is committed to promoting the physical, emotional, intellectual and economic well-being of adults through a variety of events and activities both at their center and throughout Snohomish County. Snohomish Senior Center expects to provide 4,935 trips to take seniors to the Snohomish Food Bank, community kitchen, medical appointments, and monthly group outings.
The Bridge Receiving Center – 15 passenger van
The Bridge Receiving Center helps de-escalate the trauma for children entering into foster care by providing a welcoming, therapeutic, camp-like residential center. The Bridge Receiving Center expects to provide over 3,080 trips within Snohomish County by providing transportation to schools, parental visitation, medical appointments, field trips and other needed services to children, their caregivers and staff.
Volunteers of America – 15 passenger van
Volunteers of America operates the Sky Valley Integrated Service Center that delivers needed services to families, seniors and youth in the Sky Valley Community located in East Snohomish County. Volunteers of America expects to provide 3,588 trips by transporting vulnerable residents to the Sultan Food Bank, the Sky Valley Senior Center, the Sky Valley Youth Coalition and the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP).
YWCA of Seattle King Snohomish – 7 passenger van
YWCA of Seattle King Snohomish has a mission to empower women, eliminate racism and strengthen communities. YWCA of Seattle King Snohomish, based in Everett, expects to provide 2,600 trips annually to Snohomish County children, their caregivers and parents through their Homeward House program by helping legally separated families strengthen their bond by ensuring they are able to attend their scheduled visitations.
Community Transit is responsible for providing bus and paratransit service, vanpool and alternative commute options in Snohomish County. The agency is building a network of Swift bus rapid transit lines with Swift Blue Line along Highway 99 and the Swift Green Line between Canyon Park/Bothell and Boeing/Paine Field.