TFT Special Projects #1

November 2017: Up until now, when an organization joins the ranks of TFT's partner charities, that organization is told to expect to receive ten WRTA single-day bus passes from TFT each month going forward. This has been our practice and we have been able to do this so far, even this year as we grew from 9 partner charities to 21.
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News

  • Tasks for Transit is in a growth spurt! For 2017, we planned to more than double the number of bus day passes we distributed in 2017. We are well on our way to do so!
  • We are now serving 20 partner charities, on track to increase the number of partner charities to 21 by year's end. We have added at least one new partner charity every month.
  • In October we added the Genesis Club (job training, employment counseling, inexpensive meals).
  • In November we added the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance. (They coordinate the Continuum of Care meetings, a group meeting aimed at helping the homeless in Central MA.)
  • In November a new volunteer, Sonia Paulino, joined us. Sonia is helping us to manage our social media presence.

TFT Special Projects #1

Up until now, when an organization joins the ranks of TFT’s partner charities, that organization is told to expect to receive ten WRTA single-day bus passes from TFT each month going forward. This has been our practice and we have been able to do this so far, even this year as we grew from 9 partner charities to 21. This is also our plan going forward, assuming we can raise the funds to buy the bus passes. We plan to continue to add more partner charities in 2018, one per quarter rather than one per month as we’ve done this year.
 
This month, TFT began a new variant of its traditional business plan. We have started one temporary Special Project that will support Hotel Grace during the cold Winter months , when it exists as a temporary homeless shelter during frigid weather. This is New England, not Texas or California! People sleeping outdoors in sub-freezing weather can lead to frost-bite and loss of limbs. (We know this because it happened last Winter.) This is Hotel Grace’s second year of temporary operation. We wrote at length about Hotel Grace in our May newsletter, but let us refresh your memory. Last year it started mid-December, although it wasn’t expected to be operational until January. (This year’s operation started even sooner when the temperature suddenly dropped to very cold levels in mid- November .)
 
This temporary overload shelter, Hotel Grace, is run by an unusual three-church collaboration: Catholic, Pentecostal and Unitarian Universalist. It was the temporary residents named the shelter Hotel Grace. It is located at St. John’s Church near Union Station. Meals are provided in addition to beds, warmth and security. The capacity is roughly three dozen adults. Everyone is treated with dignity. The United Way provides money for some of the operational costs, e.g., laundering the linens. All in all, it is a wonderful community effort. Tasks for Transit did not have a direct role in Hotel Grace last Winter, but this year it is our first TFT Special Project. Until warm weather returns next Sprin g, Hotel Grace will get ten single-day bus passes from TFT each month.

Stats from March 2015 to November 2017

5
Partner Charities
2290
Bus Passes Dispensed

More to explore

Tasks for Transit Accomplishments for 2019

4Q 2019: TFT’s plan for 2019 was to continue its steady growth by adding four Partner Charities to its network. As has been done for the previous two years, one more was added during each quarter of 2019. TFT ended 2019 with 30 Partner Charities.

The Status of the Fare Free WRTA Idea

3Q 2019: In April 2019, the Greater Worcester Research Bureau published a report analyzing the possibility of the WRTA running a “fare free” bus system. Other cities, e.g., Portland, Oregon, are doing this or have done it in the past. Clearly, a fare-free WRTA would be a great benefit for those living in poverty.

The Relationship Between Transportation and Poverty

2Q 2019: In a December 2018 article, US News & World Report noted that the US poverty rate dropped from 14.9 percent to 14.6 percent. In Massachusetts, the rate has dropped to 11.1%. However, Worcester’s rate is thought to be twice the state average, roughly 22%.

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