None of this would be possible if we had not received an award for excellence from the Beverly Foundation this year.
Riverside, CA (PRWEB) August 14, 2012
The non-profit Independent Living Partnership said today that the Beverly Foundation’s 2012 STAR Award for Excellence to the TRIP Program is the reason that ILP has now been able to open a training center in Riverside where the staff of organizations from across the country can come to learn firsthand how to start and operate a low-cost and effective self-directed mileage reimbursement transportation service in their own community.
According to Richard Smith, TRIP General Manager, “We have been providing technical assistance to help organizations start and operate our unique model service for some time, but now we have the capacity to be able to host trainings at the office of the original, long-operating and very successful TRIP program in Riverside. This means that those who train with us will be able to actively participate in TRIP’s daily operations, receive one-on-one instruction from our skilled and experienced staff and even talk with older adults and other TRIP riders.” Smith continues, “None of this would be possible if we had not received an award for excellence from the Beverly Foundation this year.”
The Beverly Foundation began its annual STAR Search and STAR Awards program in 2000. Organizations and groups that operate “supplemental transportation programs” are encouraged to complete surveys each year to qualify them as possible recipients of awards authorized by the Trustees of the Foundation. Each year applicants, completing the survey process, are evaluated and the winners are selected by a committee of national experts that include managers of transportation services, researchers, and professionals in transportation and aging.
TRIP has been providing rides for the most difficult and costly to serve older adult and disabled residents of Riverside County California since 1993. To date, Ivet Woolridge, TRIP’s Operations Manager, says “TRIP has provided 1.3 million trips for people who would not have been to get health access, shop for groceries, or travel to meet their basic needs without us.” Woolridge continues that the original TRIP service in Riverside has received funding from sources for transportation for the elderly and persons with disabilities, but that TRIP is extremely versatile and is able to be adapted to provide transportation service for any group for which funding might be earmarked.
Smith asserts that TRIP is the only model of its kind. He says, “The core of the TRIP concept is its focus on the self-reliant capabilities of individuals and those around them and that is why the model is so effective and easy to adapt.” Needed transportation is completed as authorized for the rider and as mutually agreed between the rider and the rider’s driver, whenever the travel is necessary. Mileage reimbursement payments encourage and support the needed travel.
People who come to the TRIP Training Center learn how to adapt the basic model to meet the particular transportation needs of their community or organization. Smith says, “In general, every community has residents who are classified as transportation underserved. They do not drive or have social network support. They live in an area without public or other transportation services or where minimal services are provided. They are probably elderly and live alone and have disabilities or suffer from chronic or serious illnesses or mental impairments that limit their mobility. Usually they are living on very low income that is near or below the poverty level. TRIP makes health access possible for these people, and supports lifeline and quality of life travel which enables them to maintain independent living and improve quality of life.”
However, other service targets can also be established. The organization or agency that provides the funding can determine who will be eligible to receive the services, what trip purposes will be supported, and how many miles of transportation will be allowed. Smith says, “This means that, as is the case for Angel View Crippled Children’s Foundation here, Angel View has determined that the families of developmentally disabled children who live in the Coachella Valley are their transportation service target. Agencies and organizations can establish TRIP service for their particular constituency.”
Trainees are immersed in two days of actual service operations. The time is short enough to be convenient for most people who will benefit by the training, but intensive. Business model discussions include service design, logistics, staffing, stakeholder development, and program funding. Operations subjects include marketing, application processing, evaluation of applicant capabilities and needs, eligibility determinations, communications skills, monitoring, control and reporting. Trainees are also introduced to the use of ILP's TripTrak administration software.
The Independent Living Partnership is committed to assisting others start and operate successful services that mirror TRIP Riverside or that adapt basic model principles and procedures for specific transportation purposes. Many other organizations and agencies across the United States are beginning or are already operating services that are based on the TRIP model.