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Prime Time: Northwoods Caregivers: Offering volunteer transportation

Bemidji is often viewed as the county seat of Beltrami County -the retail, medical, educational, and social service center for a wide region in northern Minnesota.

Because of this, local agencies and volunteer groups have become overwhelmed with the number of requests for services, especially transportation. As human service resources get scarcer and the baby boom generation ages, the need for innovative, collaborative approaches to helping elders have become more essential than ever.

A large population of seniors and special needs individuals greatly depend upon Northwoods Caregivers and other community services and resources. As this community continues to grow in size and number, Northwoods Caregivers has also adapted and expanded its services to include Respite Care, Homemaking and Shopping Assistance. Along with the addition of these services over the years, transportation services continue to remain a top priority for Northwoods Caregivers. Within the past several months alone, our handful of volunteers reported nearly 7,000 miles of transportation services and over 470 hours on the road.

If you are a senior or an individual living with a disability and interested in receiving Transportation Services, please contact Northwoods Caregivers at 333-8262. Our volunteers would be happy to help you get to the grocery store, your medical appointments or other around-town errands. Receivers of transportation services are charged on a sliding fee scale, averaging 30 cents per mile.

If you would like to become an On-Call Volunteer Driver for Northwoods Caregivers, contact our office or visit our website at

Volunteer drivers must past background/reference checks and are covered by our liability insurance as well as eligible for mileage reimbursement. For more information, call our office today.