05.19.20

Grantee Spotlight: Via Mobility Services

“We believe all people have the right to easily access the mobility options they need to enhance their independence and quality of life” says Frank Bruno, CEO of Via Mobility Services, a grantee of your Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund Boulder County. “But the COVID-19 Pandemic hit us hard, in two ways.

 
“Our para transit operation fell off dramatically because our riders were immediately homebound. Secondly, our shuttle and fixed route contracts declined along with the revenue.
 
“The grant from the Community Foundation enabled Via to continue to provide essential rides for people with dialysis and chemotherapy needs, and we have been delivering busloads of groceries to senior facilities and individuals.”
 
Indeed, as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, Via is adapting to meet our community’s changing needs. The mobility concerns of older adults and people with disabilities are shifting from traveling to community resources – e.g., senior centers, beauty parlors, and acquiring groceries and prescriptions during this time of social distancing and isolation.
 
“More than ever, our services provide a lifeline and – for many – a bridge to the community,” says Frank.  
 
Via – a Boulder-based nonprofit – has further expanded its scope of work to include collaborating with the Boulder County Farmers Market to ensure that at-risk and isolated residents have access to fresh food. Via delivers emergency bags of food to local residents in partnership with Boulder Housing Partners, the Emergency Family Assistance Association, Community Food Share, TRU PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly), the Center for People with Disabilities (CPWD), and the Louisville Senior Center –in addition to serving vulnerable residents of Lyons and Allenspark.
 
Says one recipient who chose to remain anonymous, “When I can spend my precious Food Stamps and help my local farmers at the same time, I know this is a win for all of us. Every one of you making this happen right now is helping all of us get through something we never expected. The produce, cheese, and beef are all wonderful, as were the mushrooms. Please thank everyone.”
 
Adds Marissa, another recipient: “I am a single mom with an autoimmune disease, so having access to affordable local produce is not just a financial gift, but also a gift of health.” Agrees Clara Garcia, also a recipient: “Muchas gracias, la bolsa de vegetales me a ayudado mucho para mi familia.”
 
And while the Cancer Society has temporarily stopped its volunteer driver program – providing cancer patients with trips to treatments – Via is providing some of those trips, too.
 
“We continues to provide accessible trips for older adults and people with disabilities to vital community resources, like healthcare facilities,” explains Lyndsy Morse, Via Communications Manager. Plus, fares are waived through the end of May.
 
Concludes Frank, “The Community Foundation has been there for the region in this time of unprecedented need. Thank you!”