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logo for go monroe and tagline get where you need to be

School meetings, doctors’ appointments, even going out as a family for fun… For many people with disabilities and their families, transportation for any of these needs is rarely simple.

Multiple studies in Rochester have identified the structural barriers to transportation in Monroe County for people living in poverty; however, there are unique barriers experienced by families of loved ones who have disabilities.

Funds to own a vehicle or pay for transport are limited at best. Public transportation routes may be far from home, and service is not available on demand. Private companies have a limited number of accessible vehicles in service.

At Starbridge, we believe every person should be able to access their community whenever they need to.

Joyce Steel, Director of Family Advocacy, began exploring ways to provide transportation support to families who have young and adult children with developmental disabilities. Thanks to a grant from the Region 1 DDRO, we were able to launch GO MONROE in fall of 2019.

The GO MONROE Program provides a maximum of $500 in financial support and person-centered guidance about transportation options. Participation is limited to those who live in Monroe County, meet income guidelines, have OPWDD eligibility, and whose children live in the family home.

For families, GO MONROE makes a big difference.

Photo of Latina mother and teenage son huggingMaria Vazquez Jimenez shared, “Due to not being able to work, I had limited money to use for transportation and had to prioritize and focus on needs, not wants.”

Maria and her son Jose were able to visit family in Pennsylvania and even see Niagara Falls, outings they could not have afforded or accessed without support.

Coordinator Maritza Cubi says, “I know Maria is grateful to be able to take Jose places, and he is excited to go out to do fun things and not just go to medical appointments.”

The long-term goals of GO MONROE include decreased social isolation, increased community inclusion, increased access to health care and employment, and increased participation in school and community events.

With 33 families served since from Fall 2019 through Spring 2020 (except during the statewide lockdown), we are well underway to meeting those goals!