December 2, 2020 – Year after year, with a fleet of 28 vans, Duvall Homes’ transportation service logs thousands of miles, moving nearly 100 developmentally disabled resident-passengers to and from any one of their sixteen group homes in West Volusia County. Time has taken its toll on the vehicles and three can now be cycled out of service, thanks to a $246,000 federal grant awarded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The grant will allow for the purchase of three new cutaway buses, fitted with special wheel chair lifts and apparatus for the disabled travelers. One of the new vehicles will be on hand for service at Duvall’s newest group home, opening early next year. A $417,000 grant from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation provided funding for the build, executed by Camelot Custom Construction, Inc. It will be home to six special needs residents.
Two utility vans donated by DaVita Labs, will help fulfill another transportation gap and the needs of Duvall’s maintenance and facilities division. “Our crew are currently using service vehicles that are many years old, with very high mileage, and the frequency of break downs really impairs our work,” said Duvall’s transportation coordinator, Lisa Herring.
When asked about the donation, Hersh Sanghavi, DaVita’s General Manager said, “We’re a mission-driven organization and believe that fidelity towards our community is just as important as our company and shareholders. Through our long-standing partnership with Duvall Homes, we’re honored to participate in a small way in the incredible work provided for the underserved in our community.” In September, DaVita was awarded the Alanson and Thelma Duvall Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service at Duvall’s Fifth Annual Inspiration Gala, held at the Sanborn Events Center in DeLand. (Read inside Duvall’s 2019 Fall Newsletter.)
“Grants can be a critical funding source, but they’re no more important than the community partnerships we rely on for support,” said Steven DeVane, Duvall Homes’ CEO, adding, “all the vehicles have come at a time of great need and this is a wonderful way to close out the year. As we navigate toward 2020, we’ve already got a jump on the New Year and our upcoming milestone 75th Anniversary!”