Posts Tagged ‘ITNBluegrass’

Lexington Herald Leader: It’s like Uber for seniors — complete with ‘arm-through-arm’ walk to the door

December 11, 2016

ITNBluegrass Executive Director Laura Dake stands with rider Jack Carty. Carty, 88, works five to six days a week and gets rides from ITNBluegrass to get there. Photo provided BY TOM MARTIN

Laura Dake is executive director of ITN or Independent Transportation Network-Bluegrass. Due to a recent injury that left me temporarily unable to drive, I turned to ITN for transportation around Lexington and quickly discovered what an important difference this nonprofit is making in so many lives in the Bluegrass area. So, I invited Laura to share information about her organization.

Q: First, a brief history on the origins of ITN-Buegrass.

A: About 10 years ago or so, ITN-America decided to launch its model nationwide. In 2007, a lady named Gale Reece had recently retired and was looking for a project in the local community that had something to do with aging. She was particularly interested in housing, but went to the city of Lexington and was told that the real issue in this area was transportation — that people couldn’t really live in their homes without the transportation to get places. They found that ITN-America had started to launch their model nationwide, submitted an application to ITN-America, and it was accepted. I came onboard as a fundraiser because the requirement was that the affiliate needed to raise about $125,000 in order to start.

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Lexington Herald Leader: Tom Eblen: Non-profit transportation network celebrates 50,000 rides in seven years

January 26, 2016

Roger Parry drove Ruth Mercer, left, and Ethel Stepp on Dec. 11 on the 50,000th trip of ITN Bluegrass, a non-profit organization that provides transportation for elderly and visually impaired people in Lexington. Laura Dake

Ruth Mercer hasn’t been able to drive for some time, so when doctors last spring told her husband, Jerry, that he should quit driving, she was concerned how they would get around.

The couple recently gave up their home of 43 years off Clays Mill Road to move into an apartment at their daughter’s house, but they didn’t want to be constantly asking her for transportation

Then somebody told them about ITN Bluegrass, a non-profit agency that gives rides to people older than 60 or with visual impairment in Lexington and parts of Jessamine and Woodford counties.

“It has afforded me a lot of freedom,” said Mercer, who uses the service two or three times a week. “I really appreciate what they do. I don’t feel like I’m in a cab. I feel like I’m having a friend drive me.”

 Read the full article online here