GRANVILLE — Tracy Wright, CEO of Gateway Services in Princeton, spoke to Putnam County Rotarians on Aug. 30, sharing the successes and future of services for disabled adults in Putnam, Bureau and Marshall counties.
Since its founding in 1970 with a staff of three, Gateway has grown to a staff of 120 and a budget of over $5 million, offering day programming, job placement and support, group housing with 24-hour support, therapy and counseling services, and management of the BPART rural transportation system with 35 vehicles serving all residents of the three counties.
BPART partners with the Putnam County Community Center in Standard to provide a local base for very low-cost transportation to medical appointments, IVCC, shopping or wherever desired, locally and regionally including Peoria. There is no charge to residents over 60 years of age.
Trips are to be scheduled 24 hours in advance to allow for individual routing, by calling 877-874-8813 or email www.RideBPART.org. Last year alone, Tracy said, BPART provided 3,455 rides in, to, or from Putnam County.
Independent housing, or CILA homes, continue to be a large part of the services provided. Gateway is seeking to expand that program to provide staff-supported housing options in Putnam County.
Tracy was hosted by Rotarian Adriane Shore, who added that she has seen many positive changes as the organization has grown over the past two decades she has served on the Gateway Board.