KGUN 9NewsCommunity Inspired JournalismEastside News


Eastside program in need of volunteers for senior residents

ENVP offers different services and transportation to senior residents for free
Posted at 4:38 PM, Jun 03, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A community-driven program is making a difference on Tucson’s Eastside, helping senior citizens who need extra support. It’s called the Eastside Neighbors Volunteer Program (ENVP) and they’re in major need of summer volunteers.


Located within Saguaro Christian Church, ENVP offers different services and transportation to senior residents for free.

Most of ENVP's volunteers leave Tucson for the summer. Their current client-to-volunteer ratio is about 3-to-1. Volunteers or not, many senior residents rely heavily on others for transportation and other services like yard work and housekeeping, due to mobility issues.

Becky Noel, executive director at ENVP, says clients love the program and what they have to offer. Noel says ENVP understands the various barriers behind senior residents needing the extra assistance.

Becky Noel ENVP

“When you drive, you’re so used to being able to jump into your vehicle and you take off and you go where you need to," Noel said. "As people get older and have physical issues and what not, they no longer can drive.”

With ENVP's free, volunteered services, senior residents can be assured that the program will take care of them.

Clients like Frances Johnson, who relies on ENVP for transportation services, could see a delay in pickup times for the next few months.

Frances Johnson, Greta Orris ENVP

“I have been, at times, not able to go and drive myself," Johnson said. "I tell them what I need and when I need it and what the appointment is and then they find a driver and pick me up!”

To be a client, you must be 55 years or older, live in the Eastside within specific coordinates and not be in a wheelchair. More details on their coordinates and client policies are here.

Greta Orris volunteers as both a driver and phone coordinator at ENVP. She tells me the work is very fulfilling and that senior residents need more help than just transportation services.

Greta Orris ENVP

“I took care of my elderly father for a couple three years and it was hard," said Orris. "I couldn’t imagine how he could’ve managed on his own.”

ENVP wants reliable people on their team to provide the best care to Tucson’s Eastside senior residents.

“We take them to their appointments, to the bank, to the pharmacy," Noel said. "Wherever we’re taking them, we actually wait for them and then we get them home. So, they know that we’re very dependable.”

ENVP pamphlets

Details on how to become a volunteer can be found here. If you're interested in the services offered and becoming a client at ENVP, click here.