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It's the only way to go!

A service provided by Northern Sunrise County/Nampa Family and Community Support Services is ready to help provide people with transportation.

FCSS director of community services Amber Houle says the Community Van is owned and operated by both Northern Sunrise County and the Village of Nampa, and is meant to help people who may not drive anymore or not have access to a vehicle.

“The Community Van Service allows residents of Northern Sunrise County and the Village of Nampa to remain in their homes longer despite not being able to drive,” says Houle.

“It allows residents who are fearful of winter roads, to get their groceries in town still. It provides transportation for those with limited mobility and those with aides such as walkers, canes, and wheelchairs,” she adds.

Houle says the program ultimately fosters independence and allows individuals to still take care of themselves while getting a bit of assistance.

“Northern Sunrise County and the Village of Nampa councillors are very supportive of social programming and see value in the service thus, they have supplemented the program to ensure that it remains accessible for their residents,” says Houle.

“The van service operates weekly, and we have a consistent ridership; however, we would like to see more people use the service.”

The community van can be used by seniors who are 55 years old or older and individuals who have mobility impairments. Low income families and individuals can also utilize the community van if they require it.

“The regular scheduled outings to Peace River are available for Northern Sunrise County and village of Nampa residents,” she says.

“The trip to Grande Prairie on the first Friday of the month, is also open to town of Peace River and Grimshaw residents, providing there is room.”

Houle says the van is available for transportation on Tuesdays from Cadotte Lake and Little Buffalo to Peace River. On Thursdays rides are provided from Nampa, Harmon Valley, Reno, Marie Reine, Judah, St. Isidore, Three Creeks and Wesley Creek to Peace River. The first Friday of the month sees people from the county, village, Peace River and Grimshaw visit Grande Prairie, and the third Friday of the month (excluding July and August) St. Isidore residents are taken to Grande Prairie.

“The van is also used to transport seniors to specialty outings, including live action plays, barbeques, regional community events,” she says. “It is also used to transport youth for summer camps.”

The purpose of the van is to bring people to appointments, events, and to get groceries. Houle says they do their best to get people everywhere they need to go.

“It is inexpensive, safe, reliable, and allows people to connect with neighbours and friends,” explains Houle.

“The van picks up and drops off riders at their homes, making is very accessible.”

Trips to Peace River costs $5 for a roundtrip, Grande Prairie trips cost $20. Fees for specialty outings vary, depending on the distance and what the activity is.

If you would like to use the community van, Houle says you must phone (780) 625-3287 at least 24 hours in advance of the trip to be registered.

Emily Plihal Local Journalism Initiative Reporter - South Peace News - southpeacenews.com

Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, South Peace News