Prairie Five receives grant to serve area veterans with a wheelchair-accessible van

Prairie Five Community Action Council and the 6W Regional Transportation Coordinating Council received an $80,000 grant through the Minnesota "Support Our Troops" License Plate Program to purchase a wheelchair-accessible van for veterans. The van, which made its maiden voyage in August, provides accessible transportation to veterans in the five-county region, which includes Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Swift and Yellow Medicine counties.

Prairie Five RIDES and the 6W RTCC wanted to better serve veterans in the region, so RTCC program directors searched for grants for veterans. They discovered that the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs offers grant opportunities ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 through the Minnesota "Support Our Troops" License Plate Program to support and improve the lives of veterans and their families. Prairie Five RIDES and RTCC members collaborated with five-county veteran service officers to present the opportunity to the full council. The group came up with the idea of purchasing a wheelchair-accessible van to offer free rides to veterans.

The Support Our Troops van was purchased this past summer through Rollx Vans in Savage and wrapped by DC Signs of Montevideo.

It is the first time MDVA has approved funding for an outside organization to purchase a vehicle. In addition, RTCC partners have begun promoting the service by producing a brochure and visiting area VFWs and American Legions with the van.

Adapted from Community Highlights blog of the Minnesota Community Action Partnership, posted August 24, 2022.