Submitted by Lahari.
Orcas Door to Door, a Lahari “Aging on Orcas” program, has recently hired a community specialist as the new program coordinator.
Sara Pelfrey moved to Orcas from the Portland, Oregon area after running a successful outreach program and community center that focused on disrupting social isolation. She brings her expertise to the program with the goal of expanding Orcas Door to Door’s reach to the many homebound elders — and adult residents who have accessibility needs — who have not taken advantage of the program.
Lahari’s Orcas Door to Door is a volunteer-driven program that recognizes the need of our aging population, especially when it comes to transportation.
“I see accessible transportation as one of the fundamental pillars of keeping people in their homes and on the island. When people are isolated, not only does their health suffer, but communities lose important members who help keep Orcas connected, creative and healthy,” explains Pelfrey. “In many communities we see that if elders, and those who have accessibility needs, can stay in their homes that communities are more resilient when it comes to issues such as gentrification and affordability.”
Orcas Door to Door’s next move is to focus on high need areas, not only for riders but for volunteer drivers. “I see this program as a long-term solution to generational living on Orcas. In the relatively short time this program has been running, it has provided over 1,000 rides. When people volunteer to take their neighbors to appointments, social events, or to the grocery store, they create relationships that mirror the community spirit of living on Orcas.”
Program information can be found at OrcasDoortoDoor.org.