LSS awarded $75,000 grant to help meet transportation needs of older adults

Published Mar 13, 2024
By: LSS Staff

LSS awarded $75,000 grant to help meet transportation needs of older adults

WEST ALLIS, Wis., Mar. 13, 2024 – Lutheran Social Services of WI and Upper MI (LSS) is proud to announce it has been awarded the Elderly Endowment Grant from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Lutheran Services for the Elderly. $75,000 over a span of three years will go to expand and enhance LSS’ volunteer driver program “Make the Ride Happen” as well as its Cycling Without Age program in Waupaca, Outagamie, Winnebago, and Calumet counties.

These projects help to meet the mobility needs of the low-income, older adult population and adults with disabilities, the majority of whom live alone or lack reliable transportation. Each year, the LSS Make the Ride Happen call center receives nearly 3,900 calls from individuals requesting information and assistance with their transportation needs. Volunteer drivers accompany the elderly to medical appointments, grocery shopping, or other errands as needed.

“Transportation is one of the key Social Determinants of Health the older population struggles with,” said Héctor Colon, President and CEO of Lutheran Social Services. “By collaborating with transportation stakeholders, human service providers, and private & public transportation providers, LSS is aligning its efforts to improve the health and well-being of the elderly by addressing this key need.”

Elderly populations are often at risk of social isolation, which can negatively affect physical and mental health and well-being. Through these programs LSS seeks to expand dependable and safe ride options. With this increase, LSS hopes these individuals will be able to live independently, engage with others, and remain connected to their communities.

“Our synod includes many rural communities, where lack of transportation can lead to isolation and other challenges, especially for people who are elderly and people with disabilities,” said the Rev. Anne Edison-Albright, Bishop of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin and LSS Board Member. “LSS provides a lifeline and an opportunity for connection to those most in need, and that connectedness is so important to us as people of faith.”

For more information on Make the Ride Happen call (920) 225-1719 or go to



Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (LSS) is made up of nearly 800 Servant-Leaders including licensed therapists, professional social workers and counselors, and certified peer specialists located throughout our two-state reach. Every year, our colleagues strengthen families, inspire recovery, and empower independence & belonging for nearly 30,000 individuals and families at every stage of life. Driven by the belief in the infinite worth of every person, LSS provides affordable housing & homelessness services; public adoption & foster care; long-term care & disability services; refugee resettlement; residential treatment for substance use disorder & mental illness; and additional supportive community-based services.

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