Meet Semaj

“Without reliable transportation, I can’t get to work. If I can’t work, I can’t provide for my child.”

Every week day, Semaj takes two buses to drop off her son at Marillac St. Vincent’s pre-kindergarten program. She then returns home to get ready for work back at Marillac. At the end of her work day, she picks up her son and makes the journey home.


Semaj is grateful for MSV's Emergency Transportation Fund, which has made it possible for her get to work and take her son to school in stressful situations.

In total, Semaj spends an hour and forty minutes riding 8 buses on 4 separate trips every day. It may seem like a lot, but Semaj has two priorities in life, her work and her family’s health.

Of the 1.5 million people in Chicago who use public transportation every day, many have no other way to get to work or school. For Semaj, access to the bus keeps her independent and provides stability to her family. Without reliable transportation, she’d have to call off work which would set her back. “Then my son would get kicked out of school because he’d miss too many days just because we couldn’t get there.”

Semaj also relies on the bus to get the doctor to make sure she and her son stay healthy. She’s getting ready to welcome a second child into her family and traveling to those doctor’s appointments is even more critical.

It’s a scary thought, but she knows she can rely on her MSV Family for support. In past emergency situations, Semaj has been able to utilize a temporary transit pass to ensure her son and future child’s lives remain stress free.

This #GivingTuesday, MSV is once again raising awareness and funds for emergency situations when the cost of transportation is a barrier for individuals experiencing hardship. Today, invest in your friends and neighbors like Semaj who come through Marillac St. Vincent’s doors.

marillac st. vincent family services is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit organization, FEIN 36-2109717 privacy policy © 2015 made with ❤ in chicago we’re hiring! get our email newsletter!
  • Foglia Family & Youth Center
    2859 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60612
  • Marillac Social Center
    212 S. Francisco Ave. Chicago, IL 60612
  • St. Vincent de Paul Center
    2145 N. Halsted St. Chicago, IL 60614