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Faith in Action Central Goodhue County closes

Faith in Action Central Goodhue County has closed its doors after about eight years of service.

The closure came after the group lost its funding to reimburse volunteer drivers, program coordinator Marilyn Olson said. June 30 was the organization's last day.

"We're extremely sorry that we can't remain as a viable agency to serve our clients and to allow our volunteers to be of service," Olson said.

The group offered transportation services to doctor, dentists and other health appointments. It also organized volunteers for friendly visits and helping with chores, library services and other needs.

The agency decided to close after losing reimbursement funds for volunteer drivers' mileage that had come from Goodhue County Health and Human Services. The funds HHS had available have been awarded to Three Rivers Community Action, which operates Hiawathaland Transit in the area, this spring, Olson said.

While rides will still be available in the area, "I don't believe that they'll be providing the personal services that Faith in Action did," Olson said.

But after a client survey the Faith in Action Central Goodhue County Board of Directors decided the demand for those other services was not enough to keep the agency open.

The transportation program made up 92 percent of service requests, Olson said.

"The funding that we have received through grants and fundraising and that sort of thing would not be sufficient to reimburse the drivers," she added.

In the past six months there were more than 100 care-receivers, Olson said. The organization had about 35 volunteer drivers.

Faith in Action served the communities of Goodhue, Bellechester, Zumbrota, Mazeppa, Kenyon and Wanamingo. The organization, which originally was located in Wanamingo, had been operating out of the Zumbrota Nursing Home.

Red Wing Faith in Action will not be affected at all, Olson said, because that organization is not part of the same funding program.

Olson said she hopes relationships that have been established through the program will continue even after Faith in Action Central Goodhue County's closure. The organization also thanked volunteers, churches, fraternal organizations and businesses that have made donations or provided other help and support throughout the years.

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

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