One Bus Card Can Change a Life

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Every year we at Marillac St Vincent attempt to help those in need on Giving Tuesday. Living in a large metropolitan city like Chicago affords us many benefits, one of these being a vast mass transportation system throughout the entire the city. On an average weekday, 1.6 million Chicagoans use the CTA transportation system. Whether it’s getting to and from work, going to job interviews, or something as simple as getting groceries; we take the CTA for granted. However, there are many people who do not have the ability to even do these simple things. Those are people we’re trying to help this Giving Tuesday, by providing them with CTA Ventra passes. We receive requests to help those in need daily in our day-to-day lives. What we don’t see however, are the faces of those we actually helped. So, instead of us telling you how these Ventra cards change people’s lives. We’ll let those who have benefited tell you.

John's Story

Getting a 7-day Ventra card from MSV helped me out when I was in a pinch. I had recently bought a 7-day so I could get around and a few days later my wallet was stolen. Having a Ventra card from MSV gave me peace of mind that I would be able to get to/from Streetwise to pick up magazines to sell on my corner downtown; I could go around to get all my things like a State ID replaced, and gave me comfort to know that I could sleep on the bus or train if I don’t have a place to sleep for the night.

Tony's Story

MSV gave me a Ventra card to attend job fairs and job interviews. Because of that, one of the interviews I went on, I got the job! Before my current job, I had seasonal employment. Now I have full time employment with healthcare benefits.

J's Story (Mom of 2)

“The bus cards that Family Support has been able to provide has been important to me.  I’m a single mother that constantly struggles to maintain consistent transportation for myself and two young girls. Bus transportation helps me to not get sick during the cold winter months.  I have a medical condition and the winter months and cold are often difficult time for me and my body.  Having bus cards and the ability to sit on a warm bus than having to walk in the cold, has been a tremendous support to keeping me healthy and able to care for my children.” ~J  Mom of 2

L's Story (Mom of 3)

“Bus card assistance has helped me in numerous ways, most importantly they have been used to help keep me safe.  I had worked with Family Support on finding and securing new employment after being out of work for a couple of months.  Through this time Family Support was able to provide bus card assistance that helped me get to my job interviews.  I eventually started to work, however my work day started at 5:30am.  I was not initially able to afford bus cards so I walked to work every morning.  It took me 45 minutes to walk to work. 

My walk was not necessarily in the safest environment so I tried to avoid side streets and walked in well-lit parking lots when available.  When I talked with Family Support about walking to work, they felt like I was not necessarily in a safe situation and was able to provide bus card assistance until I received my first pay check so I could then buy and become more stable to purchase my own bus cards.  This support immediately made me feel safe and but also thankful that there is a program that helps parents with bus cards.  Without this assistance, I truly believe I would not have secured employment as fast as I did as well as make it possible to continue to work a very early schedule where I did not need to walk every morning.”

A's Story (Mom of 3)

“The bus card assistance from St. Vincent’s has been a huge help to my family and me! Bus card assistance has helped me consistently bring my children to St. Vincent’s and allowed me to have stable employment.  I am a mother of 3 boys and am the sole financial provider for my family.  When I do not have the funds for transportation, I felt like I had no other choice but to not bring the children to school-therefore they missed a lot of days at the center. When Family Support realized that I could not bring the children due to transportation, they helped me with bus cards to ensure the children could stay in school, which also helped me continue employment.  This assistance helped me get back on track of saving for bus cards but also meant that my children were attending and learning at the center!   I find that I struggle with transportation every so often, but having the ability to receive bus cards and ask for help reduces my stress of how I am going to get me children to school.  My family really appreciates all of the help!”


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