Grossmont Healthcare District helping to provide shelter residents with rides to medical appointments

The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) has awarded a $20,000 grant to the East County Transitional Living Center (ECTLC). The grant will provide transportation to medical and dental appointments, along with prescription pick-up, for some of the 400 men, women and children who are served daily by ECTLC, an El Cajon-based community services nonprofit.

According to Harold Brown, ECTLC CEO/president, the organization serves low-income and homeless individuals and families seeking shelter, security and healing. The nonprofit also serves those needing recovery from drug and alcohol addiction and unhealthy and broken relationships.

“We are grateful for the support of the Grossmont Healthcare District because transportation service is critical to our families; most of them do not have either a vehicle or the money for gasoline,” said Brown. “Some of our clients require multiple visits to treat a certain condition. We believe that establishing regular care with a doctor and dentist can be significant towards our program’s goal of restoring lives. With regular medical care, we can improve health and avoid chronic illness, plus reduce the number of emergency room visits and ambulance trips.”

Brown said the GHD funds will be applied towards the purchase of aseven-passenger van to replace an aging 1997 Nissan automobile that has been in use over the past five years. Brown said the Nissan, donated by a supporter, has seen an average of 70 trips a month and as many as seven trips a day. “It’s an older car that has become increasingly more expensive to maintain,” he said. “We’ve been adding between 2,500 and 3,500 miles a month to this 20-year-old vehicle.”

Michael Emerson, GHD board president, said, “We are proud to support the East County Transitional Living Center and their efforts to provide compassion, hope and a new life for East County residents facing personal hardships and challenges. Our goal in assisting with their transportation will be to help provide hope and a hand-up to homeless families and individuals and restore families to wholeness and help moms, dads, and children heal.”

Since 2009, ECTLC has operated a converted hotel on East Main Street as an emergency temporary shelter to homeless families, as well as people needing transitional housing. The hotel has 101 rooms, some of them are assigned for maximum 28-day stays for people once living on the street. Other rooms are allocated for families so they can avoid living in their cars or in the homes of others while they save money for deposits and first-and-last-month’s rent, and use the extra time to transition into self-sustained, independent living. ECTLC also offers family restoration and reunification services along with rehabilitation counseling for single men and women through case managed programs and skills training.

To learn more about ECTLC and its services, visit the organization’s website.

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