VALPARAISO | Opportunity Enterprises’ fleet of accessible minivans is growing thanks to the support of the Indiana Department of Transportation, the Porter County Community Foundation, and the Valparaiso Rotary’s Community Development and Community Service Committee. In 2012, OE received a grant from the Indiana Department of Transportation for three low-floor accessible minivans, valued at more than $100,000. Required to match 20% of the project total locally, OE received $10,000 from the Porter County Community Foundation, $5,000 from the Valparaiso Rotary Club’s Community Development and Community Service Committee, and utilized internal operating dollars for the remainder of the match.
“This project really demonstrates the teamwork approach that I have come to love about Valparaiso, and we are truly grateful for the support of the Porter County Community Foundation and Valparaiso Rotary’s Community Development and Community Service Committee,” said David Stupay, President and CEO of OE. The minivans will be used to provide transportation for participants in OE’s supported living program, their respite program, and their Community Integration program, which takes participants to volunteer jobs around the community.
OE maintains a fleet of 36 vehicles: 18 Large Transit Vehicles, 9 full-size vans, and now 9 accessible minivans. The minivans are used for medical appointments and to transport small groups of two to three participants to community volunteer engagements during the day, as well as social outings in the evenings and on weekends. “As OE continues to expand our services, smaller accessible vehicles like these minivans are a perfect fit for our transportation needs. They are easy for staff to drive, they get great gas mileage, and they are extremely easy for all of our participants to get in and out of,” said Stupay. “These vans allow our participants to really get out into the community and live life to its fullest.”