Local organizations benefit from Van GO vehicle grant program by Community Transit

Hand Up Project in Edmonds was one of the recipients. (Photo courtesy Community Transit)

Cheering teams of non-profit staff and volunteers filled the Community Transit Board room this week as the transit agency announced recipients of the 13th Van GO vehicle grant program.

Twelve local community organizations, including one in Lynnwood and two in Edmonds, were awarded Community Transit vehicles that have reached the end of their service life at the agency. Together, 10 vehicles will provide 45,000 annual trips to seniors, disabled students, at-risk youth and others who benefit from the work of these local organizations.

Since the Van GO program began in 2000, Community Transit has awarded 136 vehicles to a variety of 501(c)3 non-profit organizations around Snohomish County. This year, the agency awarded eight seven-passenger vans and two 16-passenger mini-buses. By state law, other Community Transit surplus vehicles are sold at public auction to help recoup the public investment. More information about the Van GO program is online at www.communitytransit.org/VanGo.

“Community organizations are often better equipped to serve their neighborhood residents than we are,” said CEO Emmett Heath. “Our ability to provide them with a vehicle to better serve those residents is a partnership Community Transit is very proud of.”

This year, 33 groups submitted applications demonstrating how they would use the vehicles to benefit people in their community. In all, 12 non-profit organizations will be able to provide trips to their community members thanks to retired vanpool vans and paratransit mini-buses they received in the competitive grant program.

This year’s Van GO recipients include:

  • Cocoon House (Everett)
  • Glacier Peak Institute/North Counties Family Services (Darrington)
  • Granite Falls Community Coalition/Granite Falls Foodbank (Granite Falls)
  • Hand Up Project (Edmonds)
  • Josephine Sunset Home (Stanwood)
  • Korean Community Service Center (Edmonds)
  • Monroe Gospel Women’s Mission (Monroe)
  • Northwest’s Child (Seattle)
  • Pioneer Human Services (Marysville)
  • Shepherd’s Garden Senior Housing (Lynnwood)

Shepherd’s Garden Senior Housing (Lynnwood)
Shepherd’s Garden Senior Housing provides subsidized housing for seniors in the South Snohomish County area. This seven-passenger van will provide safe, quality door-to-door transportation for the elderly population they serve helping to foster self-sustainability and promote independence. With the van the group will provide 1,750 trips to activities, medical appointments, shopping excursions and recreation events on a regular basis.

The Hand Up Project (Edmonds)
The Hand Up Project helps people in crisis get themselves to a place of sobriety and self-sufficiency by providing necessities such as food, toiletries, tents, blankets and clothing to individuals in desperate need. The group will use the seven-passenger van to provide the homeless population of Snohomish County with more than 14,000 trips to employment, temporary housing locations and various appointments.

Korean Community Service Center (Edmonds)
The Korean Community Service Center is committed to empowering, educating and inspiring Korean American seniors, youth and families through counseling, education, bilingual, cultural and social services. The group will utilize this seven-passenger van to provide 1,800 trips taking seniors and youth to various programs and to citizenship assistance workshops.


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