As part of our community changers series, we highlight organizations making a positive impact in Memphis! This week, we caught up with a group who believes transportation is key when it comes to your health.
Transportation can be a huge barrier for many seniors and people living with disabilities. Deborah Garner, a retired drapery seamstress, missed a very important eye appointment due to lack of reliable transportation.
“My ride didn’t show up through the health care, Deborah said. “They didn’t call they didn’t’ say nothing that they weren’t coming.”
Deborah no longer drives. Her son helps as much as he can, but he works full time. Plus, Deborah can’t always afford rides via taxi or rideshare with a fixed income.
“So, I missed that appointment. I finally made it a month later,” Deborah said. “It’s an emotional thing. It can be mental. It’s rough on us. We do not want access to health to be an issue because of transportation.”
Courtney McNeal is the Strategic Partnership Manager with Innovate Memphis. They’re dedicated to delivering civic solutions. They designed and power the 901RideChoice program. 901RideChoice connects older adults and people living with disabilities with reliable transportation for free.
“We have a call center housed at the Memphis crisis center,” Courtney McNeal said. “They will call, and they will go through eligibility with them and place them with the best fit transportation option.”
Once the best transportation option is determined, a reservation is made. The ride company will separately confirm your reservation as well. If you have a smartphone, they’ll send a text. If you don’t, they’ll call you to confirm.
“They’ll call me in the morning to let me know they’re on their way,” Deborah Garner said. “It’s just awesome. I love it.”
We caught up with Deborah after she scheduled another ride through 901RideChoice.
That is why our anonymous donor wanted to give 901RideChoice a thousand dollars. Because when you remove a crucial barrier from people’s lives you give them back their independence. A true community changer.
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