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Driving Change

Developing and sustaining nimble transportation solutions to meet community needs

North East Community Center’s Christine Sergent.

Photo by Anne Day.

“Navigating our vast rural area — its hills, valleys and changing weather — without a vehicle or public transportation for medical, shopping or social trips, ranks among the top challenges for residents of the region.”

Executive Director Christine Sergent, NECC

About North East Community Center

Providing resources to meet community needs has been the bedrock of North East Community Center since its inception in 1988. In keeping with its mission — to build a healthy, caring, responsive and welcoming community for all who live in and visit northeastern Dutchess County — the nonprofit offers a robust array of social, educational, recreational and cultural programs and services for individuals of all ages, from toddlers and teens to seniors, many of whom lack transportation. From summer enrichment and youth leadership to food access and income tax assistance, working collaboratively with community partners to understand the priority needs of the individuals and communities it serves has been integral to NECC from the very beginning. 

In response to the dearth of options especially in rural areas, NECC operates a pair of coordinated transportation services to meet the everyday needs of residents in Millerton and the surrounding communities of Amenia, Dover, Pine Plains, Stanford and Millbrook. Despite near constant evolution over 35 years, one thing remains constant: NECC is committed to enhancing engagement and understanding among all community members.

Our Work with North East Community Center

Our belief that transportation is critical infrastructure led FCH to partner with NECC in support of Northeast Dutchess Transit and Car Care, both of which address the huge gap in public transit by providing transportation free of charge to residents in NECC’s service area. In addition to providing operating funds in support of these programs (neither of which is entirely sustainable due to the myriad forces influencing their bottom line — including inflation, an increase in virtual medical visits, and COVID-related operational changes — all of which have caused the cost of transportation services to surge), we funded an efficiency study aimed at understanding needs and improving service delivery. Finally, NECC is one in a trio of organizations to whom we’re providing multi-year general operating support. Born of a belief that, when unrestricted funding is available for essential programming, an organization will be better poised not only to respond to new challenges and opportunities but also to take risks — which, over time, contribute to a more resilient and effective social sector. 

Learn about North East Community Center’s mission and work in the region.