September 17, 2019
United Way has a long history of advocating for and directly funding improved transportation systems for Central Indiana families in need. Earlier this year, the Basic Needs Fund awarded grants to community-based organizations which will provide transportation services to nearly 7,000 of our neighbors – and a few of our friends got to see and hear firsthand how they’re taking advantage of increased transit options, by joining us for a ride on IndyGo’s Red Line.
New employment, educational advancement, and the connection to quality healthcare often depend on an individual’s access to reliable transportation. Whether it’s a struggling senior needing a ride to a critical medical appointment, a child traveling home from an afterschool mentorship program, or a job applicant heading across the city for a big job interview, modern transit systems connect our city and our people in ways we don’t often think about.
Michaels and Melton both rode the bus with United Way of Central Indiana this Monday to share how investments in the transit system benefit their clients, and improve access to their organizations.
“Having new opportunities like the Red Line will give people the opportunity to get from point A to point B,” said Michaels, “We really appreciate IndyGo and the city for doing this, and United Way of Central Indiana has been a great partner for us for years, supporting those who lost their vision.”
Bosma Enterprises helps Hoosiers with vision loss achieve and maintain their independence. Through their rehabilitation services, job training and employment programs, they teach people with vision loss how to navigate their lives and jobs successfully, including traveling places around our community.
“We teach people how to travel in neighborhoods, downtown, against and with traffic,” Michaels said. “If you are a person who cannot drive, you need different options. I love having different options to help people with disabilities be independent.”
The benefits associated with our community’s major expansion of public transportation services are a monumental step forward in linking our neighborhoods to economic opportunity and combatting multigenerational poverty.
“The focus for the city has been on individuals who may have not been on the top of the list, and now they’re moved to the top,” said Melton, Fathers and Families Center. “I’m excited about the next phase and the other new projects that will go across town. We arrived downtown quickly – and it’s convenient.”
Fathers and Families Center provides men the guidance, support and resources needed to be great parents. The center offers life-skill development, job-readiness training, counseling, education, and help finding employment – and with the new Red Line, traveling for work just got a bit easier.
Interested in learning more about how increased transit will make a big difference in our community? Join Senior Director of the Basic Needs Fund, Nate Lichti, for an informational ride on the Red Line, Saturday, September 21. Register here.