The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) awarded a two-year grant to the Jewish Council for the Aging (JCA) to fund transportation programs that support volunteer driving networks for non-driving seniors and adults with disabilities throughout Northern Virginia and Maryland.
NV Rides, which is housed at the Pozez Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, is a part of the JCA’s Network of Volunteer Drivers Plus which received a total of $521,313 as part of The Federal Transit Administration’s Enhanced Mobility Program.
This money will be used to train drivers and administrators, pay the monthly licensing fee for ride-scheduling software, cover the cost of background checks for all drivers, provide marketing materials and advise community organizations on how to recruit and retain volunteers.
“We are grateful for this grant. It allows JCA and the Pozez Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia to continue our support of volunteer driver transportation programs which allow seniors and adults with disabilities in Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Northern Virginia to age in place,” said Sara Fought, JCA’s senior director of the Center for Information Services.
Having access to safe and reliable transportation options is a key factor in successful aging in place. Pozez JCC’s NV Rides has 14 community organization partners and is growing, noted Jennifer Kanarek, manager of NV Rides.
“The need for volunteer transportation options for seniors and adults with disabilities is only increasing,” Kanarek said. “We are delighted that Transportation Planning Board and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments understands this critical need in the community and will continue to support our mission to add and enhance volunteer driver programs for seniors who wish to age in place in Northern Virginia.
The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at COG approved funding for 24 projects that support mobility for seniors and those with disabilities. The grant will be partially matched Fairfax County and other sources and will allow the programs to be fully funded through 2022.