When organizations like CED Mental Health Center need to transport clients with mental illness or substance abuse problems, they need as many ways to do it as possible.
CED Executive Director Shelia Hurley offered a plan to the Etowah County Commission during its Tuesday work session that would allow CED to buy a van to transport clients anywhere in the county to receive medical and counseling services. Though CED currently works with Etowah Rural Transportation and Gadsden’s city transit, some clients don’t do well on larger, public busses, Hurley explained, a problem that could be solved with smaller vehicles.
“When you have a real special needs person, it’s difficult on those vans because they’re touching with different groups of folks and it can get awkward and downright risky,” she said.
Not only will the smaller riding groups help clients, but the vans will provide coverage during times when other services aren’t running. CED serves more than 5,000 clients per year from Cherokee, Etowah and DeKalb counties, according to Hurley, which can make transportation hectic.
Funding would come from an Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs grant, with a requirement that the applying county match 10 percent of the grant’s total, an amount between $6,000 and $8,000. Rather than foot the bill alone, Hurley suggested, Etowah could partner with Cherokee County and split that 10 percent, with CED purchasing vans to operate in both counties.
As Etowah has already received the grant this year, a Community Development Block Grant, Cherokee will submit the application.
Diane Glenn, principal planner of…
click here to read more.