The Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center's program to transport senior citizens to medical appointments and social outings is a lifeline for some of them.

The Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center's program to transport senior citizens to medical appointments and social outings is a lifeline for some of them.

That was brought home forcefully last week to Ken Andrews, a retired social worker who has volunteered as a driver with the CRC for the past year and a half. He took a dozen seniors on a trip April 20; one was an 87-year-old woman he hadn't seen in a while.

It turned out, Andrews said, the woman had been seriously ill and spent some time in a medically induced coma before recovering sufficiently to return home.

"Ken, this is the greatest thing that's happened to me," Andrews recalled her telling him.

"This is my social life. I was looking at my walls and thinking this was the last thing I was going to see."

The CRC program for transporting seniors got a much-needed shot in the arm recently when the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission awarded it $100,260 in Federal Transit Authority funding to purchase three life-equipped light transit vehicles.

There will not, however, be any need to gas those vehicles up anytime soon, said Executive Director Bill Owens.

The agency received MORPC approval for the purchase of a single van about a year ago, but the way the program works, it won't be delivered until December, he said.

Owens estimated the three additional vans won't be delivered until December 2017.

"We could use them right away, actually," he said. "The sooner they get here, the better.

Grocery-store trips take place weekly along with "at least monthly trips to go out and do something fun," Owens said.

The CRC is the lead agency for the Columbus Federation of Settlements Senior Small Group Transportation program, he said.

The others involved include Central Community House, Gladden Community House, St. Stephen Community House, Neighborhood House, Canal Winchester Human Services and Community Development for All People.

"This is one of the programs that's funded by that (county) senior services levy that comes around every five years or so and is so important to people over 60," Owens said. "We're able to make sure that seniors have less problems with food insecurity. By getting them out of the house and with other seniors, we're helping to decrease their isolation. We want them to get out and meet people."

"This is a segment of our society that in my opinion has been forgotten," said Andrews, who was with Mount Carmel Hospital at the time he retired. "We sometimes don't think about them. This outfit thinks about them.

"I like it that we target that area in our population that doesn't seem to be getting much attention."