CHEER Inc., Sussex County Senior Services, now has a vehicle to aid its efforts.
The newly acquired 24-passenger bus was the result of federal money administered by the state via the 5310 program. In contrast to other government programs, the agencies apply for the vehicles they require; not the funding needed to purchase them.
CHEER Executive Director Arlene S. Littleton said the new bus will replace one that has more than 200,000 miles on it. "The buses are over $80,000 now," she said, noting her organization would have been hard-pressed to find the resources for the replacement without the assistance.
Littleton says it has become increasingly difficult to get buses through the program due to higher demands placed on it from non-profit groups. "We used to get two and three buses and now we're very grateful to get one," she said.
CHEER operates a fleet of 15 buses, eight of which are on the road at any one time. Collectively, Littleton said the vehicles travel 200,000 miles annually taking senior clients to and from their homes to the seven centers and two nutrition sites CHEER operates countywide. For more information go to www.cheerde.com.