ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — For Dan Saur and his friend David, bocce ball in the hallway of Olivia’s Gift, their home in Ada Township, is one way to pass the time.

They prefer practices at the Kent Intermediate School District where they take part in Grand Rapids Eagles Disabled Sports program.

“They do adaptive track and field, bocce ball, swimming, difference races,” said Dan Saur’s father, Chuck Saur. “There’s a problem. Dan and David can’t drive down the road in their power wheel chairs.”

Getting to practice became a challenge after the bus service they use suddenly shut down this month. Hope Network runs the ride program, which serves about 50 clients including Dan Saur and David.

The federal Community Development Block Fund grant that pays for the bus service ran out at the end of December. Riders and their families got the word just days before the shutdown.

Chuck Saur said the program provided more than just a way for people like Dan Saur and David to get from point A to point B.

“The bus means they’ve got a night out on their own. And they can go visit and connect with friends that they were used to connecting with every week,” said Chuck Saur.

Hope sent us a statement, saying in part:

“The impacted service was funded by the federal government and the funding was administered by Kent County. That funding has now run out. Our team has been working tirelessly for months to prevent this outcome. And though we’ve been unsuccessful, our work won’t stop.   

“Hope Network will continue to search for resources that will restore this service as soon as possible. Until then, we will work with each impacted individual to help them navigate their unique search for alternative forms of transportation.”

Hope Network

One of those alternatives, according to Chuck Saur, is paying for the rides out of pocket.

“One ride for Dan and David to go to Kent Intermediate School District over on Leffingwell is about $73.00. Round trip,” said Saur.

Hope Network plans to get back on the road when the block grant funds come available in the new fiscal year, which starts July 1.

Meantime, Chuck Saur sums up his feelings with one word.

“Disappointed. For these guys.” he said, pointing to Dan Saur and David.

“I understand that they’ve got costs to cover, and they don’t have funding so it’s something they’ve got to do. It’s just unfortunate that it’s this population again.“