Community Budget Center takes on new services | CraigDailyPress.com

Community Budget Center takes on new services

Moffat County Human Service Volunteers organization has served area for years

Michael Neary

— After decades of service, the Moffat County Human Service Volunteers will no longer be here to provide rides to people with health-related appointments — along with grocery shopping — starting in April. But what may be a seamless transition of the service to the Community Budget Center is under way.

Moffat County Human Service Volunteers, a nonprofit organization, also provides financial help for people who need to take medical trips out of town and who have their own transportation, said Director Jamie Daszkiewicz.

Services are targeted especially for people who have financial needs.

Daszkiewicz has worked as the director for the past three years, and she said the organization has been in existence since the 1980s. She works with volunteer drivers, and she also drives patients herself — particularly when it's their first time using the service.

"I sometimes drive them, especially if it's not just a one-time thing," she said. "I try to drive them so I can get an idea of their needs and them pair them with a volunteer driver."

Daszkiewicz noted financial challenges, including rising insurance costs, as among the reasons the organization is stopping services.

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Karen Brown, director of the Community Budget Center, said that organization is in a solid position to assume the services. She said, too, that she appreciated having several months to prepare.

"We already have a paid staff," she said. "We already have liability service. If you're a single agency trying to take on those things yourself, it's a lot less cost effective."

Brown said she's applied for additional grant money in light of the new services, and she said she may hire another person. Specifically, she mentioned the possibility of hiring one of the volunteer drivers.

"They've already got the skills available," she said. "I don't want to reinvent the wheel. I want it to be a smooth transition for the clients as well as the drivers."

Daszkiewicz, during the time that she's served as Moffat County Human Service Volunteers director, has had time to hear a number of concerns while she's given people rides. She said people have told her about the importance of having doctors who listen to them, and she also mentioned the need for mentorship in the area — especially for older children — and for daycare.

Sometimes, she noted, people with medical appointments are simply looking for someone to take care of their children for a short time.

"They're looking for someone for two or three hours," said Daszkiewicz, who worked as a disability advocate before becoming the organization's director.

Brown said there's a strong need for transportation involving medical and nutritional needs. With some help, she said, “people can utilize their food stamps to their maximum capacity, and then they can go to City Market and they can go to Walmart.”

Brown noted, too, the Community Budget Center could use a few more volunteer drivers for the service.

"We're going to do what we can to help as many people as we can," she said.