Friday, May 20, 2011

Genesis, A New Life - Funding Wish, Part 3 of 3

Numbers! It seems that I've been talking about numbers all week. I should probably be feeling a little apologetic.  Genesis Shelter is fulfilling its promise for "A New Life" which involves so much more than just numbers.  At the same time, 84,000 diapers don't just magically appear because you're a nice person.

With all of the services that Genesis provides, there are so many which can be called "critical" when working with a young homeless mother trying to build a new life for herself and her new baby. 
I'm at a loss to identify any one of these services as being more important than another.  Shelter; critical.  Daycare; critical.  Nourishment; critical.  Employment; critical.  Education; critical.

City of Atlanta - Transit Routes
All of those seem obvious.  But I am inclined to believe that most of us will forget to include one critical service.  Let's talk transportation.  Most of us own a car and have the luxury to be able to go where we need to go any time we want to go there.  We drive to work, to school, to the grocery store and the dentist. Our pain is found at the local pump - and we complain.  Far from saying that we shouldn't be upset about $4.00 a gallon, I am wondering what it might be like for those without access to a vehicle at all!

In order to move forward - in order to work on the "New Life" that Genesis Shelter promotes - there are things that need attention.  These "things" are usually not within walking distance!  Job interviews and medical appointments are two that immediately come to mind.  Atlanta is a big city.  There are opportunities for work, but they're not across the street from the shelter. Decent mass transit is available, however. 

The MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) website indicates that the cost for one bus token is $2.00.  But job seekers know that in order to obtain employment, many interviews will probably be necessary.  Medical follow-up appointments will be necessary for the baby.  And when employment is secured, attendance is required every single day in order to remain employed.

MARTA lists a 30 day pass for $68.00.  This is for unlimited rides and works well for those working with Genesis. In talking with the organizations Executive Director, I've been informed that the Shelter spends nearly $650.00 each week for MARTA cards.  Should Genesis Shelter, A New Life receive the votes necessary to win the Responsible Referrals donation, they would like to use the funds to enable their residents access to transportation.  This donation, although small, would still allow nearly 15 families access to public transportation for a whole month.

What can happen in a month?  Well, just maybe, some of those families will find employment at the end of one of these trips.  Just maybe, it becomes much more than a bus ticket as a homeless mother and her baby begin to see that it's possible, with the help of the staff and volunteers at Genesis, to live that New Life!

You can review basic information about Genesis Shelter on the Pages link.

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