Steinbach's Handi-Transit services will soon be run by Serving Seniors Incorporated.
Adam Thiessen, the city’s corporate services manager, says city administration originally proposed this idea at a council study session noting, "the rationale behind that idea is that having this service provided by a non-profit that is focused on serving the seniors population would be a long-term benefit to the service."
Councillor Michael Zwaagstra moved to approve the plan.
"For many years, the City of Steinbach has provided the handi-transit service for our residents. I think this is a great opportunity here to have the service provided by an organization like Serving Seniors that already specializes in providing a variety of services to seniors in our community, it is a natural fit."
Audrey Harder is the Executive Director for Serving Seniors Incorporated and the Pat Porter Active Living Centre. She says the city will provide them with grant money and in exchange, they will take over the administration of the service.
"For us here, it made sense. All we want is to provide better services to our community and do our best to make things great for people who have disabilities, people who come here for seniors' activities, things like that. The other thing is, the handi-transit is here a couple of times a day anyway so it really just made sense."
Harder says she was a little nervous about this proposal at first, but she notes they have been working with city administration for about a year now working out the kinks. "We have been talking back and forth, thinking 'Is this something we could do?' We did a lot of research and a lot of looking into it and a year later we are very excited."
Councillor Jac Siemens adds this is a true partnership between the city and a respected local not-for-profit organization.
"For them to expand their role within the city and to expand their services to the individuals that they are serving, I think this is good and the services should be as good or better than what is currently being supplied by the City of Steinbach."