For some in our community, a lack of transportation might stand in the way of changing their circumstances. This week, more than a thousand bus passes were donated to help homeless and at risk youth get where they need to be.
Most homeless youth in the area rely on walking or getting a ride, which can sometimes be dangerous. The Kitchen’s Rare Breed Outreach Center offers free bus passes to help youth get where they need to go.
“You don’t have a way to get a job, or you don’t have a way to get across town to see your therapist,” said Ben Tegeler at Rare Breed. “Transportation is a huge barrier for our youth, they are not going to be able to afford a car, and insurance, registration and title.”
Just this week, the Rotary Club of Springfield donated 1,140 CU Transit bus passes to the center. But the passes won’t be distributed for just any reason. The staff keeps track of who receives them, and makes sure they’re used in productive ways.
“The passes are only passed out for school, other educational things, maybe get to the Missouri Career Center, get to a mental health appointment, going to a job interview or maybe job searching,” Tegeler said.
An adult bus pass costs $1.25. A youth pass costs a $1. For some, a small price tag, but for those who don’t have a roof over their heads and often no money to eat. It could be a ticket that will take them to a better place.
Tegeler says they hand out about a hundred passes a month, so this donation should last a few months. Rare Breed also has a public bike repair station outside their building. Anyone can use it for free, even when the center is closed.