Local non-profit, Home of Guiding Hands (HGH), received 13 new buses and six minivans (all wheelchair accessible) through the Specialized Transportation Grant Program administered by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).
HGH provides specialized transportation services to individuals with developmental disabilities and significant physical and/or medical challenges.
Other awardees include, Facilitating Access to Coordinated Transportation (FACT), Jewish Family Service of San Diego, Metropolitan Transit Systems, Noah Homes, San Ysidro Health Center, Sharp Healthcare Foundation, and St. Madeleine’s Sophie Center.
“The 19 vehicles awarded to Home of Guiding Hands are just the first of the 43 wheelchair accessible vehicles to hit San Diego streets. They will provide much needed transportation to our seniors and disabled population in the region,” said Del Mar Councilmember and SANDAG Chair-Elect Terry Sinnott.
Six of the new buses for Home of Guiding Hands replaced ones purchased more than a decade ago. Seven will expand HGH transportation services to include more than 300 individuals daily.
“The contribution from SANDAG is especially important at this time. Now, more than ever, individuals with developmental disabilities need greater community access,” said Mark Klaus, CEO of Home of Guiding Hands. “This will enable HGH to help meet this ever-growing need for many years to come.”
In this cycle of grants, SANDAG awarded a total of approximately $7 million through its Specialized Transportation Program — which includes the TransNet Senior Mini-Grant and Federal Transit Administration Section 5310 programs.
SANDAG is currently overseeing active projects from Cycle 8 — through which the HGH vehicles were funded — and Cycle 9, and is preparing to release the Cycle 10 Call for Projects in 2018. Projects awarded funding include door-to-door and door-through-door transportation, non-emergency medical transportation, shopping shuttles, volunteer driver programs, taxi voucher programs, and transportation information and referral services.