How HopSkipDrive can help during the COVID-19 outbreak
Written by Aylin Cook
HopSkipDrive is a safe youth transportation solution which connects those in need of a ride — youth age six and up as well as senior citizens — with a marketplace of rigorously-vetted CareDrivers. All CareDrivers are required to have at least five years of caregiving experience and pass a stringent 15-point certification process.
With major cities adopting shelter-in-place and the country self-isolating, the spread of Coronavirus is unprecedented and deeply impacting lives. Unfortunately, many schools are closed until the end of the school year, leaving children we serve and HopSkipDrive CareDrivers without rides to claim.
This does, however, mean we have the capacity to help our communities right now. If you’re an individual or organization looking for ways to support children and/or senior citizens, as well as help independent contractors continue earning money, join us.
And if you’re a current client or signing up for the first time, we are here. We’re ready to fill in any gaps for families, school partners, and more, in need of transportation services.
Safety is our #1 priority:
First, we want to share our safety procedures during this crisis: HopSkipDrive has asked CareDrivers to follow the CDC protocols, which include washing hands frequently and thoroughly, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and cleaning and disinfecting their vehicles prior to each ride. Drivers are also encouraged to stay home if they are sick.
We have provided free diagnostic and telehealth services during this time to all CareDrivers. Any HopSkipDrive user — Rider or CareDriver — who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, suspected of having COVID-19, or been in contract with anyone diagnosed with it will have their account suspended until further notice. We take this very seriously.
In addition, CareDrivers are provided with resources, including culturally responsive care, trauma-informed care. de-escalation tactics and working with various vulnerable populations. This pandemic can bring up loneliness, anxiety and trauma in children, particularly children lacking the stability of school and emotional support. Senior citizens are also experiencing loneliness and trauma, as their vulnerability to the disease facilitates more stringent isolation measures, With their experience and our training, CareDrivers are best suited to provide emotional support during this time.
Here are a few ways we can help.
Our 1:1 rides allow children and senior citizens to practice social distancing
Immuno-compromised children, or children with other health needs, as well as seniors citizens, need to avoid crowds or situations where they can be exposed to any kind of virus.
HopSkipDrive can assist by helping get vulnerable populations where they need to go without being in close contact without taking public transportation.
This solution can also help out families with members in at-risk groups by limiting the kids exposure to the virus. Those not in the at-risk groups, like elementary school kids, can unknowingly carry the virus and pass it on to others who may become infected and suffer serious consequences. By limiting children’s exposure, it also limits this possibility.
We can help students and senior citizens access meal programs and meal delivery
For some students, the hot meals they get at school lunch or breakfast is a crucial part of their diet. It may even be their one full meal of the day. For them, skipping school is also putting their health at risk. They need to eat.
If the school cafeteria is open, HopSkipDrive rides can be booked to bring students back and forth for meals, or CareDrivers can assist in bringing meals to students.
HopSkipDrive can also provide rides for senior citizens to buy groceries, take them up to pick up food, or provide meal delivery.
We can provide access to necessary education technology
Many temporarily closed schools offer online classes for students to keep up academically. The school also won’t have to extend their academic year by adding on make-up days at the end of the year.
While keeping classes going is important, not every student may have access to a computer or iPad to access online courses. If your school loans or provides them to students, HopSkipDrive can help by taking these from the school to the students who need them. CareDrivers are trusted caregivers and have been thoroughly vetted, so you can trust them to deliver the items correctly and safely if the child is home without adult supervision, and make sure the correct child has received them
We can help IEP students attend necessary appointments
Students on IEPs may still need to attend speech therapy, occupational therapy or behavioral therapy, even if the school they attend is not in session. It’s important for these students to maintain their progress, and HopSkipDrive can fill in to get kids where they need to go. Use the rides you need and cancel any you don’t.
HopSkipDrive can help healthcare workers with childcare transportation needs
We are so grateful for the healthcare workers on the frontline of this pandemic. While they’re working long hours, we can help with their childcare transportation needs.
We’re also open to partnerships to support healthcare workers with transportation during this critical time.
We can fill in during bus driver shortages
The bus driver shortage has already been an issue for many districts, even without additional critical cautions making things more complicated.
If a bus driver is sick, with the current shortages, there may not be anyone who can take over the route. If this is the case, districts can add rides for students on the route on a temporary basis, only paying for the rides they take. HopSkipDrive CareDrivers can pick them up and get them to school for as long as you need. Once your regular bus driver is back in the driver’s seat, we can help cancel any rides you don’t need.
Learn more about the various non-routine student transportation needs we assist with and how our flexible driver supply can help manage any increases in transportation needs.