New van gives shelter residents more freedom

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 9:16 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Life is rolling a little more smoothly now that a Roanoke shelter has a new set of wheels.

“I mean, it’s such a game changer,” Ian Dantzler said.

The Trust House is a shelter that serves families and veterans, such as Dantzler.

He took his first ride in this new minivan Wednesday.

“I had to go to an appointment. It was raining outside. I said I need a ride, I was prepared to walk. I had my rain gear on. But he said, ‘No I got you, I will take care of you.’ And he took me right there. It was so much easier,” he said.

For months, that access to transportation was not as easy, because the shelter’s previous van broke down.

“It would frustrate me and hurt me when someone would need to get to the doctor, would need to get to the DMV,” Trust House Director Kevin Liptrap said.

The van helps give residents more freedom to push forward with their lives, Liptrap said.

“It opens up a whole new world of where we were stuck to now, we can move anywhere we want to go,” he said.

The money for the new van came from a grant through Raleigh Court Presbyterian.

ARCH, the organization that oversees the Trust House, said the extra cargo space will help them serve more than just the people in the shelter.

“We pick up donations very often and those donations aren’t only for Trust House. They are across the board,” Development Director Rachel Geary said.

It’s another tool to break down barriers and give folks like Dantzler an opportunity to succeed.

“I’ve always been the type of person that believes I could get to the bottom and find my way up to the top again, and this situation and the Trust House allowed me to do that and proved that I could do that,” Dantzler said.

It’s an additional resource that hopes to help more people steer their lives in a new direction.

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