World Relief will use the vehicle to drive refugees to job interviews and medical appointments
|Councilmember Upthegrove presents the keys to a surplus King County van to
Dan Samuelson, Executive Director of World Relief.
On Friday, April 15th, Metropolitan King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove delivered a seven-passenger van to World Relief to transport newly arrived refugees to medical appointments, job interviews, and other important appointments.
“I am delighted that a ‘retired’ van from King County can get a new life helping refugees transition to life in Washington State,” said Upthegrove. “World Relief provides supportive services that help refugees become self-sufficient and connect with community.”
World Relief will primarily use the van to pick-up newly arrived refugees from the airport, as well as take them to important appointments. They are one of the largest refugee resettlement agencies in Western Washington and have been serving refugees since 1979. Through case management, orientation to American culture, job placement assistance, English language training, World Relief helps refugees adjust to life in the United States and overcome barriers to self-sufficiency.
“On behalf of the staff of World Relief Seattle and the hundreds of refugees that we serve each year, I want to thank Councilmember Upthegrove for his assistance in securing a van for us from the Retired Van Donation Program,” said Executive Director Dan Samuelson. “The staff of World Relief Seattle drive tens of thousands of miles every year as we assist newly-arrived refugees with the settling-in process. A well-maintained, serviceable vehicle from the King County Van Pool is such a tremendous asset for us in our work. We are deeply appreciative both for this gift and for Councilmember Upthegrove’s commitment to support us in the work that we do.”
Since 1995, the County Council has donated vans from Metro’s Vanpool to local cities and nonprofit organizations to provide transportation for low-income, elderly, youth and disabled residents. The vans are part of a fleet of county vehicles that have been ‘retired’ after exceeding a certain number of miles.
Governments, agencies and organizations that receive a van must meet certain criteria, such as provide an outline of specific plans for its use, demonstrate the ability to provide trained drivers and assure that the van will be made available to assist individuals without regard to affiliation with any particular organization.