Chapman Partnership receives new van to augment transportation access for seniors and individuals with disabilities

MIAMI, FL (Feb. 13, 2017) – Seniors 55+ and residents with disabilities at Chapman Partnership will receive augmented transportation assistance through the federally-funded Section 5310 program, awarding Chapman Partnership a 2016, 12-passenger Ford Van fully equipped with a wheelchair lift and three wheelchair securement devices.

The Federal Transit Administration’s Section 5310 program provides forumla funding to states for the purpose of assisting private nonprofit groups in meeting the transportation needs of older adults and people with disabilities. The van will assist in addressing transportation barriers experienced by Chapman Partnership residents when attempting to access health care, education, employment, or other life-sustaining activities.

“This is the 3rd van delivered in the state of Florida, and the first van that has the smart floor system for increased flexibility and convenience,” said Les Burres, transit and commercial sales from Creative Bus Sales, Inc., an organization who works with the Federal Transit Administration on building the customized vans. “People will get around town in a safe manner.”

During fiscal year 2015-16, ending September 30th, nearly 750 persons experiencing homelessness aged 55 and older resided at one of Chapman Partnership’s two Homeless Assistance Centers, representing 20% of the total population served. From FY 2014-15 to 2015-16, the 55 and older population grew by 4%. Currently, 30% of Chapman Partnership’s residents have a physical disability impairing mobility.

With the dearth of low-income housing in Miami-Dade County, outplacement options for elderly and/or disabled individuals remains a challenge. Within this subset of the population served, coupled with many of these individuals experiencing immigration issues, outplacement options are nearly nonexistence as they are not eligible for the Social Security Administration’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – the primary funding source for adults with disabilities and the elderly. The result, longer lengths of stay, with a good percentage of these individuals residing within our community’s Homeless Continuum of Care 12 months or more.

Tony Williams, 61, born in Jamaica and an immigrant from the island, has lived at Chapman Partnership for 14 months. Formerly a drummer with Bob Marley, Williams suffers from Traumatic Brain Injury and has no recollection of his past. His immigration problems resulted in his return to Chapman Partnership after SSI benefits were recinded and he was forced to leave the Assisted Living Facility he called home.

The new van was specifically designed to meet the transportation needs of residents like Williams.

“We are very grateful to Creative Bus Services and the Federal Transit Administration for giving us the opportunity to provide our residents, specifically our elderly and disabled residents enhanced services,” said H. Daniel Vincent, President and CEO of the Chapman Partnership. “With support of these organizations we are able to give our residents the support they need to overcome many obstacles and continue to work their way toward self-sufficiency.”

Chapman Partnership operates two Homeless Assistance Centers with 800 beds located in Miami and Homestead. Collectively these two Centers serve approximately 4,000 men, women and families with children annually. Since 1995, Chapman Partnership has had more than 105,500 admissions including 25,000 children in Miami-Dade County and a 64% success rate of moving people who complete the program from homelessness to self-sufficiency.

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About Chapman Partnership:
Since 1995, Chapman Partnership has had more than 105,500 admissions including 25,000 children in Miami-Dade County and a 64% success rate of moving homeless men, women and families who complete the program to self-sufficiency. Chapman Partnership operates two Homeless Assistance Centers with 800 nightly beds located in Miami and Homestead. We help the homeless by providing a comprehensive support program that includes emergency housing, meals, health, dental and psychiatric care, day care, job training, job placement and assistance with securing stable housing. At Chapman Partnership we empower homeless men, women and children to build a positive future by providing the resources and assistance critical to growth and independence. Chapman Partnership is the private sector partner of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust. This public-private partnership is a national model and best practice for homeless services.