United Way Grant Fuels Transportation Program

Written by OneHeart

A Community Impact Grant from United Way of the Black Hills (UWBH) will help to drive OneHeart’s Transportation Program into next year.

UWBH awarded $10,000 to support the ride program that helps OneHeart guests obtain and maintain employment, get to and from school, and make it to off-campus appointments when other transportation options are not reliable or available.

Jamie Toennies, UWBH Executive Director, said the organization launched new grant opportunities designed to support nonprofits who are addressing the community’s greatest needs.

“Transportation is one of the biggest barriers keeping individuals from getting the supports and services they need," Toennies said. "We are pleased to help support OneHeart’s efforts to minimize this barrier so that their clients can get to the critical programs and services they need to be successful.”

Morris Brewer, Jr., provides transportation at OneHeart
Morris Brewer, Jr., provides transportation at OneHeart

OneHeart’s transportation program consists of a 10-passenger van and full-time driver. Morris Brewer, Jr., who joined the OneHeart staff earlier this year, says one of the biggest benefits is the peace of mind it gives guests.

“Transportation provides ‘at their door service’ for guests who do not have their own transportation, which alleviates the stress of obtaining a ride outside of the OneHeart facility,” Brewer said.

Nearly 800 rides have been given since the campus opened to guests in January, with the majority being for employment purposes.

Besides the obvious benefits of assisting guests who are working hard to improve their own lives, Brewer sees additional value in simply getting to know the guests outside the walls of OneHeart “To experience ‘window time’ with the guests and establish a rapport is priceless!” Brewer said.