Everyday in Brevard County, Fla., a community of 500,000 on Florida's Space Coast, there are elderly residents who need assistance. These seniors live at home, on limited incomes. They are able to live independently through supportive services such as the VOLUNTEERS IN MOTION program. This program offers personalized transportation to elderly citizens by taking them to the grocery store, shopping or to the doctor. A few hours of volunteer support, once or twice a week, can make a major difference in these seniors' lives. Whether it's driving a van or answering a phone, volunteers serve because they care.
VOLUNTEERS IN MOTION (VIM) is a service coordinated by Space Coast Area Transit, the Senior Resource Alliance and the Community Care for the Elderly program. The program began in 1996 in an effort to provide reliable transportation at no cost to Brevard County's elderly citizens who are unable to use Space Coast Area Transit's Fixed Route system because of health reasons. Many of these citizens can not afford expensive nursing homes, and with assistance such as VIM, they can remain in their home and continue to be independent. Frequently, many of these seniors do not have family within the county to assist them with these transportation needs.
Since its inception, VIM has been able to assist thousands of elderly individuals. Volunteers receive intensive background checks, and training by attending instructional classes outlining how they transport these individuals. When transporting, volunteers are provided with county vehicles that are wheelchair accessible and meet rigorous local, state, and federal laws and testing. A few hours of volunteer support once or twice a week makes a major difference in a senior's life.
Currently there are 25 volunteers in the program, the majority of who are retired or semi-retired, and average over three hours of transport each week. Transports are daily between 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Since the VIM Program's inception in 1996, almost 38,000 frail, elderly seniors have been transported, and the registration continues to grow as Brevard County's population ages.