StoryThree community organizations in Metropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn’s district were approved today to receive a retired King County Metro van. Vine Maple Place, the Black Diamond Community Center and the City of Enumclaw Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department were the three recipients in District 9.
The County Council today unanimously approved the transfer of retired Metro vans to provide transportation assistance to local governments, community programs, senior citizens and young people.
“These organizations do important work in SE King County,” said Councilmember Dunn. “Handing over these vans allows them to continue that work and improve the services they are able to offer.”
Located in Maple Valley, Vine Maple Place is an organization that breaks the cycle of homelessness by assisting single parents and their children build lives of hope, stability, and greater self-sufficiency.
“The gift of this van to the children and moms in the Vine Maple Place program is deeply appreciated. Transportation is essential for the 90 children per month that attend weekly life-changing counseling and tutoring appointments, it also allows them to participate in educational field trips and activities,” said Michelle Frets, Vine Maple Place Associate Executive Director. “Moms will also benefit with transportation to employment and development workshops. Thank you for this important tool to help families build stability.”
The Black Diamond Community Center offers social, recreational, and emergency programs targeted at seniors, families, and the youth of the greater Black Diamond Community area.
“The Black Diamond Community Center provides the only affordable childcare program in our area. We like to take the kids, ages K-5, on field trips every week to places outside the area: Museum of Flight, zoos, and trips to our library, so dependable vans are very important,” said Cheryl Hanson, the Executive Director of the Center. “The Black Diamond Community Center also uses the vans to help seniors get to doctor appointments and pick up food and medications.”
The City of Enumclaw’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services offer a full slate of activities and services to enhance your quality of life and believe that quality of life in the Enumclaw community is improved through recreational opportunities.
“The City of Enumclaw sincerely appreciates the van retirement program and looks forward to providing trips and tours for adults and teens with special needs including bowling, square dancing, movies, dinner out, dancing and more,” said City Administrator Chris Searcy. “It will also help shuttle our summer youth day camp program participants to local parks and recreation sites. We still have a van in service at our Senior Center that we received from this program 15 years ago. Thank you so much.”
Since 1996, the County Council has transferred retired vans from Metro’s Vanpool program to local nonprofit organizations to provide transportation for the disabled, low-income, young adults, and senior citizens. Governments, agencies and organizations that receive the vans must meet specific requirements:
• Capacity to support ongoing van operation, including assured funding for licensing, insuring, fueling and maintaining the van;
• Ability to provide qualified and trained drivers;
• Specific plans for use of the van to transport low-income, elderly or young people or people with disabilities, and assurance that the use shall be available to those persons without regard to affiliation with any particular organization;
• Ability to support county's public transportation function by reducing single occupancy vehicle trips, pollution and traffic congestion; supplementing services provided by the county's paratransit system and increasing the mobility for the transit-dependent for whom regular transit might not always be a convenient option.
The vanpool program provides mobility for a diverse array of King County residents, supports the positive work of various local organizations, and relieves traffic congestion by reducing the need for single-occupancy vehicles.
If you’re interested in more information or for applying for a vehicle, please contact Councilmember Dunn’s office at 206-477-1009 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.