I’m writing to let you know that the Neighbourhood Connections Program has been a tremendous help to my family.

My mother is 86 years old. A few years ago she broke her shoulder and later her hip and could no longer drive, which has been a great loss to her independence. She has several medical problems and is unable to use the bus or Handydart. I have chronic dizziness and fibromyalgia and am unable to drive her.

We both must use taxis to get to appointments, which has been a major financial burden (even with Taxi Savers), as well as unreliable.

When we found out about the Neighbourhood Connections Program, I contacted Talia Mastai for my mother. We have found her to be warm, friendly and very helpful in arranging rides for my mother to her appointments. The volunteers have been wonderful – friendly, patient, and courteous. Having access to the Neighbourhood Connections Program has been a substantial relief to what is frequently an overwhelming amount of stress, both financial and phsychological.

When my mother is able to receive a ride from a volunteer, I know she will be treated kindly and will be escorted to and from the door. I don’t have to worry about her waiting an hour or more for a cab that may or may not show up. (Just last week she had to climb the stairs (she uses canes and a walker) 3 times in 1 hour to call the cab company because the cab she had booked the night before was over an hour late – coming home the cab driver refused to walker her to the door). She has also had cab drivers be rude to her because she is hearing impaired.

In addition, we suffered a total loss house fire in July (my mother’s owned the house for 45 years) – again, my mother having access to this program has been vital in lessening the increased financial and mental stress resulting from the fire and relocation.

We are very grateful for the Neighbourhood Connections Program and all of Talia Mastai’s help. We believe it is very important that this program continue to receive funding and possibly even be expanded one day to include a wider age range and geographic area.

Thank you for your time.