For Immediate Release Media Contacts: Collin Nash and Sid Nathan
Nov. 30, 2010 (516) 869-7794
North Hempstead’s Project Independence Awarded $850,000 Transportation Grant
North Hempstead, NY—As North Hempstead’s ambitious “aging in place” initiative, Project Independence, continues to expand its network of locations across the town and broaden its menu of offerings, Supervisor Jon Kaiman and the North Hempstead Town Board announce the acquisition of a federal grant that will be used to help elderly disabled residents with their transportation needs.
The $854,342 grant which is for two years, was awarded through the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council’s New Freedom program, will be used to hire three new staffers who will work with Project Independence to identify the best elderly disabled transportation options and how to access the programs.
“This grant will go a long way in helping us fulfill our commitment to make sure our seniors remain in their communities for as long as they want and are able,” Supervisor Kaiman said.
The Mobility Managers will refer clients for services, compile and publish resource guides, and conduct training programs with community based organizations so that the town’s elderly disabled residents are informed of all transportation related services.
Transportation for the elderly has topped the list of priorities since Project Independence was launched in 2005. A town wide survey of 400 seniors conducted as part of an analysis of the transportation needs of the Town’s aging residents has helped Project Independence staff design programs and services to meet those needs.
Following in the wake of the introduction of a grocery shopping program in 2009, the town launched a companion program designed to provide low-cost transportation for seniors to non-emergency medical visits. The new grant will also pay a portion of the costs of these widely utilized programs.
With North Hempstead’s senior population growing, Supervisor Kaiman developed Project Independence to help support and empower seniors by providing an array of services through partnerships with government, service providers, businesses and the local community.
The recent opening of the Project Independence New Hyde Park location brings to three the number of locations now in operation. The other two locations are in the Great Neck Senior Center and the Port Washington Community Center. Plans are to open a fourth location in the Roslyn area early next year, and eventually establish a network of eight Project Independence locations throughout the town.
First initiated as a pilot program in the New Hyde Park area, Project Independence is the first program of its kind to be established in a suburban setting.