Osceola Council on Aging

Submitted by: Osceola Council on Aging, Inc

As the leading provider of human services in Osceola County, FL, the Osceola Council on Aging assisted more than 155,000 Osceola residents in 2013 through 30 distinct programs and services that promote self-sufficiency and independent living.  One of the most highly requested programs the Council administers is Transportation Services, with individualized transportation that is focused on low-income elderly and disabled Osceola residents.   In 2013, the Council provided 42,137 rides to 534 elderly and   pharmacy shopping, educational and employment opportunities, personal business matters, and obtaining social services.  As recommended and approved by a Center State Bank executive that serves on the Osceola Council on Aging Board of Directors, the Bank on My Dream Award would be a substantial contribution toward supporting transportation for frail, elderly and disabled citizens.  The Council hereby nominates the low-income elderly and disabled residents of OsceolaCounty who are in critical need of transportation assistance as the recipients for the Bank On My Dreams contest.

Funding for Transportation Services has always presented challenges, but these challenges have increased in recent years.  The Council receives an ever-growing number of requests for transportation assistance as a result of Osceola County’s struggling local economy, yet funding cuts and inflationary fuel costs have made the provision of transportation services increasingly difficult.  Our Transportation Department was granted a Chevrolet Van through the 5310 Program of Florida Department of Transportation, but the grant program requires 10% in local matching dollars that our agency must somehow secure. The $5,000 prize offered through the Bank On My Dreams contest would be applied as the required 10% cash match funding.  This van would be used for the purposes described above and is expected to travel approximately 18,000 miles annually throughout all of Osceola County.  The Council also extends the opportunity to emblazon the Center State Bank logo on the van should our agency win the award.

The majority of the transportation provided by the Council are in the cities ofKissimmee, St. Cloud and Poinciana Township which are all part of the urbanized Kissimmee area.  However, residents who live in the remote, rural areas of Osceola County are also served.  These frail individuals are physically incapable of using regular bus service, as they are not able to walk long distances to the bus stops or board the vehicle without individual assistance.  In addition, most of the Council’s elderly and disabled clients subsist exclusively on Social Security benefits and cannot afford any kind of transportation, private or public.  It is the foremost goal of the Council’s Transportation Department to support low-income, disabled and elderly Osceola residents with individualized transportation service that will allow them to meet their basic needs for independent living.


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