The Humboldt District Hospital Foundation and the City of Humboldt have come together to address the lack of transportation to and from the Hospital for Humboldt residents. 

The HDHF defined lack of transportation as clients/patients who do not have a vehicle and have limited support and financial resources to drive them.

Lorrie Bunko, Executive Director of the HDHF, says the need for transportation to the Hospital is great.

“We were very surprised when we started digging into it more. The initial request was brought to us by Community Mental Health and Addictions. We thought we would expand and reach out to our emergency and inpatient managers to find out if they are experiencing problems, and they too are.”

She says that Community Mental Health & Addictions reported there are clients in Humboldt who are not able to attend their appointments due to having no access to transportation. There have also been reports of patients discharged from inpatients or emergency without access to transportation services. 

She says with the colder months on the way, the Foundation was on the search for finding ways to alleviate the problem. The HDHF approached the City of Humboldt for support. 

“The City was able to adapt the use of the mobility van to be able to take those clients who need to access appointments at Community Mental Health & Addictions and take them to and from their appointments to avoid missing them. They will also make themselves available to take those discharged from Hospital and lack transportation and take them to a safe place.”

The service is free to those who need it, says Bunko. The HDHF purchased tokens from the City of Humboldt and gave them to various departments to use at the departments' discretion. 

The HDHF says the funds to purchase the tokens and get this program running came from the HDHF’s Mental Health/Addictions fund and Spiritual Care Fund. 

“We realize this is not a complete solution. There are others who live outside the City of Humboldt limits that require assistance. The HDHF has put in a request to the SHA for assistance in hopes of broadening transportation services,” says the HDHF in a release. 

“Donors who support foundation initiatives such as when we raise funds for mental health and addictions, or for spiritual care, or any other fund that we have; it truly makes a big impact,” says Bunko.