SRHA, college partner on transportation

Published 10:52 pm Friday, July 26, 2019

The Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority and Paul D. Camp Community College have entered into a partnership to provide transportation for public housing residents.

The authority’s board of commissioners discussed the partnership at its July 23 meeting. As part of the partnership, the college will provide a student to drive a SRHA van to transport residents to job interviews, medical appointments, city events and other things that will help them become more self-sufficient, according to SRHA Executive Director Tracey Snipes.

“I think it’s something that we can support,” said Chairman Ben Fitzgerald before commissioners voted 8-0 in favor of executing a worksite host organization agreement between the authority and the college.

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The program will cost nothing for the authority. According to the agreement, “participant work experience activities provided for under this worksite host organization agreement are funded by the Hampton Roads Workforce Council with Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funds.”

Rides will be free for adult public housing residents, though an operating schedule for the van has yet to be determined.

“We haven’t worked that part out yet,” Snipes said.

The program is expected to start within the next month, Snipes said, as it is in the process of hiring a Paul D. Camp student to drive the 15-passenger van. Housing Operations Director Michell Layne said the school is in the process of screening potential drivers, and Snipes said she would be conducting interviews this week. The person hired for the position will be paid $8.50 per hour, Snipes said.

The van will also be used in an effort to help reduce the frequency its maintenance staff will have to come to the office from each of the city’s public housing sites, Snipes said.