Beginning Tuesday, June 1, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Berkshire County (RSVP) will launch its free ride service, Wheels for Wellness, for all Berkshire County residents.
Wheels for Wellness is a free ride service for county residents of all ages who need transportation to wellness-related activities, including medical and social services appointments, fitness classes, therapy, as well as transport to vaccine sites.
The program is a partnership between RSVP and the following organizations Berkshire Community Action Council, Berkshire Fallon Health Collaborative, Community Health Programs, Berkshire Interfaith Organizing, and Berkshire Health Systems.
The new service builds upon RSVP’s existing van service which specifically serves Pittsfield.
Having this expanded resource creates a wealth of much needed options for community members, said RSVP Director Jeff Roucoulet, who noted that RSVP’s van service will still continue within city limits.
“Over the years, we have learned that there is a countywide gap in transportation, not just for elders, but for others as well. In our Pittsfield program, at first we only brought seniors to medical appointments, but we now know that this is just a fraction of what’s needed for good health,” Roucoulet said.
With Wheels for Wellness, we’ve dropped the age requirement and included non-medical health-related transit for our passengers to better assist with the county’s needs.”
Rides will be available between the hours of 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding major holidays. To schedule an appointment, please call the Wheels for 13-395-0109, which will be available 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
As masks are still required on public transportation, both drivers and guests will be required to wear face coverings until further notice. Riders must be fully ambulatory and able to get themselves in and out of the vehicle without assistance. Please note vehicles will most likely vary in size.
RSVP is a national organization funded in part by AmeriCorps Seniors. It is sponsored locally by the City of Pittsfield. RSVP provides recruitment, training, and placement of persons 55 years of age and older as volunteers.
RSVP by the numbers:
- 279 – number of local RSVP volunteers in 2019.
- 33,168 – total volunteer hours.
- 50 – number of states in which RSVP is represented.
- 5,000 – number of host stations served by RSVP agencies.
- 400,000 – number of RSVP volunteers nationwide.