This winter, Lyft and Family Promise partnered to pilot a program that is helping families in Union County, New Jersey safely get where they need to go. Lyft provided $5,000 in ride credits to be used by families in our Union County program.
For many families experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, access to reliable transportation can make the difference when planning for an independent future.
Often, a situation – the breakdown of a vehicle, an unanticipated car repair, a job possibility that is difficult to access by public transportation – arises during a family’s stay in our program that could interfere with or lengthen their return to housing. Similarly, families who have graduated from our program risk a fall back into homelessness when an unexpected transportation issue arises.
For example, one Family Promise guest canceled a job interview at the last minute because her car broke down and she couldn’t get there. Despite the shame, she felt about appearing irresponsible to the potential employer, she had no other option but to cancel at the last minute.
Other Family Promise guests have ridden the bus or train for several hours at off-peak times because they work second or third shift jobs and the trains and buses run infrequently at those hours. As a result, they are chronically sleep-deprived. One graduate of our program, who was injured on the job, could not take the bus to work because she walking to the stop caused excruciating pain- we helped her with Lyft credits.