Water drips off a woman’s jacket as she waits at the bus stop. Ten minutes go by, then 15. Soon enough, 25 minutes have passed, but there are still no signs of the bus’s flashy headlights breaking through the thick Seattle fog.
She thinks of her two jobs, and her children who need to be picked up soon. What’s more, this is only the first of the three buses she must take on an hour-long journey to meet her case manager on the other side of town.
She is not alone. In a 2018 survey of people experiencing homelessness in King County, 69% state that they have trouble accessing resources and services – and of those, 23% state that transportation to access services is their main concern.
To alleviate some of this pressure, Solid Ground is teaming up with Uber via its Uber NW Community Impact Initiative. Through a generous Uber grant, Solid Ground case managers can access up to $15,000 in credit to connect program participants struggling with adequate transportation to Uber rides to and from services.
Annually, Solid Grand aims to serve 90 to 100 families a year through our Stabilization and Supportive Services, including our JourneyHome/Rapid Rehousing and King County Housing Stability programs. Our hope is that participants can use these no-cost Uber rides to meet with case managers and have better access to Solid Ground resources in general.
“Having access to a resource like the Uber grant will widely open up JourneyHome’s ability to ensure that clients have reliable transport to these appointments that directly impact their housing stability.”
-Mallory Van Abbema, Solid Ground Rapid Rehousing Case Manager
In today’s modern age where transportation seems like it’s available on every street corner, most of us do not realize what a luxury it is to be able to just tap our ORCA cards, or click a few buttons on an app, and be on our way. Think about all the places you go in a day; the grocery store you use may be northwest of your home, and where you work may be 20 miles in the opposite direction.
Just as your daily journeys may take you far and wide, it’s the same for people experiencing homelessness in King County.
“Physically getting to appointments such as healthcare, housing, legal aid, childcare and employment sites is often a major challenge for folks enrolled in the JourneyHome program, who are parents and or guardians working with very modest means and trying to juggle multiple responsibilities. Having access to a resource like the Uber grant will widely open up JourneyHome’s ability to ensure that clients have reliable transport to these appointments that directly impact their housing stability,” states Mallory Van Abbema, Rapid Rehousing Case Manager at Solid Ground.
Thanks to this partnership we can continue to facilitate program participants’ journeys directly to and from the services that are there to help them.