The DeKalb County Planning Department's Human Services manager, Margie C. Holmes wrote, I CARE: "At every public hearing and in two major studies of the needs of the elderly during the last ten years, transportation has emerged as the number one need for senior citizens .. Affordable, accessible transportation is ... a matter of life and death. Public resources alone cannot meet the need. (I CARE) is ingenious and a very important part of the solution."
The continued need for this service is documented by the Atlanta Regional Commission, which states that transportation for seniors is their third most requested service.
Senior Connections Director, Steve Brazen states, "The current provider system for non-emergency medical transportation services is at capacity in our country. We look forward to working with I CARE so that the senior population has access to this very important service.
Former MARTA Paratransit Superintendent, Sharon Crenshaw states, "I CARE helps many poor and disabled people who may not be eligible for ourparatransit system, or who are waiting for acceptance from us. The program has an excellent track record, with the number of clients being served continually increasing."
An article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 1998) states: "A declining list of Medicaid-funded shuttle services and a growing population of elderly people have led to a transportation crisis for senior citizens in DeKalb County seeking rides to the doctor's office..
A significant and major study in DeKalb County (A Call to Action, 1997) stated:"Transportation services are a major unmet need for older adults."
Partly in response to this kind of information, and partly from substantiation from others of this need, a task force was formed in 1997 to study this problem. A prototypical program was defined and funds sought and obtained from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program began operating in March of 1998 with 15 rides for that month. A year later the number of rides increased in the same month to 90. Currently we provide over 1400 rides yearly.
There is a small staff and Board of Directors. The organization received Internal revenue Service non-profit status in january of 1999.