Good Wheels transportation for special needs patients facing financial crisis

Good Wheels, a nonprofit many depend on to make their doctors appointments is facing a financial crisis after steep funding cuts.

But is this organization the best use of your tax dollars?

On one hand, agencies like Good Wheels are providing something that our most vulnerable populations might not have access to, on the other hand, people say they’d like to have a say in which nonprofit group their tax dollars support.

For nonprofits like Good Wheels, just one vote separates barely getting by to not knowing what the future holds.

“It’s challenging, but somehow, we’re going to be able to handle it,” CEO of Good Wheels, Alan Mandel said.

Along with dozens of other agencies, the city council voted to eliminate funding to Good Wheels, tens of thousands of dollars they use to transport the elderly and people with special needs.

“They have to get to dialysis to live, it’s as simple as that,” said Mandel.

But some people are now questioning whether or not tax dollars should go to places like Good Wheels.

Jessica Merkaj says the organization hasn’t been reliable when it comes to transporting her son with special needs.

“I don’t know until the last minute that they’re not coming. And I have to reschedule his appointments, try to work around school schedules,” Merkaj said.

Good Wheels now faces a nearly $14K monthly deficit with these cuts. People like Merkaj would like to have a say in which organization their tax dollars help.

“I would rather see it go to something better. You know like maybe improving the school bus system or going to the schools,” Merkaj said.

The CEO of Good Wheels is adamant that no drivers will be laid off and no transportation routes will be cut.

He says there are now some massive gaps in funding, something he hopes to fill with donations and ads on the sides of their business.


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