FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 11, 2012
North Hempstead’s Project Independence Transportation Program Chalks up 25,000-Trip Milestone
MEDIA CONTACTS: Collin Nash & Sid Nathan | (516) 869-7794
North Hempstead, NY– Supervisor Jon Kaiman and the Town Board announced another milestone for the North Hempstead’s ground-breaking Senior Transportation Program – the 25,000th taxi ride. North Hempstead’s Project Independence Transportation Program, which has garnered flattering, town-wide testimonials from seniors, provides participants with low-cost taxi rides to their food shopping destinations and medical appointments.
“The Town of North Hempstead is truly leading the way when it comes to taking care of our aging population,” said Supervisor Jon Kaiman. “This administration will continue to support and expand Project Independence to help our seniors live in their own communities safely and independently.”
Gloria Varano of New Hyde Park was the 25,000 transportation program user. She said she decided to call 311 to participate after reading about the program in the local papers.
“It really is a fantastic program. It is reliable, dependable and drivers are fantastic,” said Varano, 87. “I called up 311 on Thursday and the next day the cab was here to take me to my doctor’s appointment. Thank God for this program.”
The program is made possible through a government-private sector partnership involving North Hempstead’s 311 Call Center and TownStat department, its Department of Services for the Aging (DOSA) mobility management staff, and local livery companies.
“This is truly government partnership at its best,” said Paula Uhl, DOSA’s acting Commissioner.
North Hempstead’s senior population is growing; residents aged 75-84 increased 40%, while those older than 85 increased 60%, according to the last national census. In response to these population changes, the Town created Project Independence to help senior citizens live in their communities longer and with greater confidence by having access to visiting nurses, social workers, handymen, taxi transportation for medical visits and shopping, as well as adding recreation and education programs.
Project Independence is linked to North Hempstead’s 311 Call Center, giving seniors, or their family members or friends the assurance that when they call, their questions or concerns will be promptly and personally addressed by the Project Independence staff of nurses, social workers, and community advocates. These professional staffers are in touch with a vast network of agencies, businesses and other institutions within the town which stand ready to offer assistance.
The Project Independent staff works with, and is in close contact with, community-based advisory councils in each program location and with our health care partner, North Shore/LIJ, and several social service partners.
For more information on North Hempstead’s Project Independence Transportation Initiative, please call 311.
Supervisor Jon Kaiman along with Westbury Project Independence members.