Madelyn Carlson knows what drives seniors to lead longer, more productive lives.
“If they don’t have transportation services—if they can’t access critical services—they’re going to be institutionalized much earlier,” said Carlson, CEO of People For People, a nonprofit committed to empowering senior citizens with resources, such as medical transportation. “And when they have to be displaced in an unfamiliar place and can’t participate in their community, their health declines more rapidly. I look at it as we’re able to maintain healthier individuals by keeping them in their home.”
People For People has been around since 1965 and was originally founded as Yakima County Community Action Council with a focus on employment training services, Head Start programs and community action agency services.
It began providing transportation in 1982.
“Senior Services approached us and said, ‘We need someone who can provide transportation for our seniors to get to meals, to get to shopping,’ and we were able to get donations to purchase a couple of vans. That’s when we started providing transportation,” Carlson said.