The Northern Virginia Veterans Association and the Dulles Area Transportation Association have been awarded federal funding for a joint project to provide veterans who are disabled or over age 65 transportation to COVID-19 vaccination appointments.
While vaccination availability has increased, transportation challenges may be preventing veterans from getting vaccinated, according to the organizations. This is particularly problematic for veterans who receive their care from Veterans Administration medical facilities and are without reliable transportation.
“There is a veteran’s transportation crisis, and many veterans are trapped in their homes,” said Luke Frazza, mobility manager for DATA. “We partnered with Nova Vets because they are the ‘boots on the ground.’ Nova Vets is already working with a lot of veterans, and they will start with the most vulnerable veterans they work with.”
The program will provide round-trip, no-cost taxi service to COVID-19 vaccination appointments for eligible veterans helped by NOVA Veterans, including those who need wheelchair accessible transportation, said Angela McConnell, NOVA Veterans president.
U.S. Census data showed over 142,000 veterans live in the service area for the project and of those 65 and older, more than 26% are disabled, McConnell said.
“NOVA Veterans’ targeted clientele is almost exclusively those veterans who are disabled and/or elderly, so we plan to help as many veterans as possible starting with those whom we are already assisting,” she added.
McConnell said that the group “won’t turn down anyone who needs a ride, as long as we have capacity. If we can’t provide a ride, we are working with partners who could potentially help.”
Need a ride?
- Call the NOVA Veterans Association at (703) 659-0788
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org