Wheels of Hope

Can’t drive? Now you have an option.

Wheels of Hope, a new nonprofit is teaming with realtors at Upchurch Coldwell Banker to provide rides for people who are either visually impaired or no longer driving due to age or health.

Jamaica Miller, who has been blind from birth, came up with the idea of a volunteer drive network, and Joe James, a former realtor, is helping implement it. Rides are available Monday through Friday during daytime hours. Users of the service must establish an online account and make requests 48 hours in advance. There is a small fee for gas. Unlike ride-share services, Wheels of Hope volunteers will not only pick someone up but escort them to an appointment and stay with them or help them with their errands. For more information, visit www.wheelsofhope.orgor call 706-765-8332; email: wheelsofhopeathens@gmail.com. “We provide door through door service,” says James.

Lawmakers increase funds for seniors

Gold DomeSeveral of the legislative priorities of the Georgia Council on Aging (GCOA) received funding in the 2019 session. As of late March, and before the legislature wrapped on April 2, GCOA reported increased funding for Housing and Community-Based Services, which helps seniors stay independent longer. In addition, lawmakers added $388,000 to the line item for Aging and Disability Resource Connection, a service that connects aging or disabled people with information and referrals. Meals on Wheels also received additional funding. Other GCOA priorities for this year included creation of a study committee to explore innovative financial options for senior living, and creation of a new Department of Mobility and Innovation, which would manage transit in eight zones outside of metro Atlanta; personal care home safety, and elder abuse.

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