The first year of operations for “Drive To Help”, SECOG’s new transportation program, has been successfully funded. “Drive To Help” came to fruition as a result of the efforts the Sioux Falls Metropolitan Planning Organization's (MPO) Transportation Coordination Committee (TCC), along with various members of the Sioux Falls City Council’s Transit Task Force, to develop and implement work actions to help address the priorities identified in the MPO's Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan (Coordinated Plan). One activity resulting from this collaboration is a volunteer driver recruitment and training program to provide screened and trained volunteer drivers to expand existing volunteer driver programs. The TCC named this program “Drive To Help.”
Project CAR and Active Generations’ Workers-On-Wheels (WOW) are existing organizations that provide transportation services to seniors and persons with disabilities utilizing volunteer drivers, primarily for medical/health appointments and grocery shopping. Rather than duplicate efforts by creating a new transportation program, “Drive To Help” will be a more efficient use of resources by expanding the capacity of these existing programs. To do so, a SECOG employee will serve as the manager and coordinator of the Drive To Help program. He or she will run marketing campaigns to recruit volunteers, distribute and screen volunteer applications, run background and driver records checks, arrange for the screened volunteers to be trained, and transition the screened and trained volunteer drivers to Project CAR and WOW. This person will also be responsible for coordinating with Project CAR and WOW to track the benefits of the program.
Several partners made the first year of operations for this project possible, including Avera ($2,000), City of Sioux Falls ($9,000), Sanford Health ($5,000), SECOG ($15,000), and United Way ($9,000).