Lyft grant helps domestic violence survivors - CBS46 News

Lyft grant helps domestic violence survivors

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Source: Women's Resource Center to End Domestic Violence Source: Women's Resource Center to End Domestic Violence
Source: Women's Resource Center to End Domestic Violence Source: Women's Resource Center to End Domestic Violence

An organization helping women and children start new lives after surviving domestic violence has been chosen as the first recipient of Lyft’s new grant program, which provides $1,000 worth of rides.

The Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence, WRCDV, is located in Decatur and has been providing assistance to survivors of domestic violence and their children since 1985.

Executive Director Jean Douglas joined the center as a volunteer twenty-three years ago.

“I was really taken aback by the prevalence of domestic violence, just the sheer amount of it,” says Douglas.

For the last twenty-one years she has served as executive director.

“It’s become my life’s work. It’s an honor for women to trust you at their most vulnerable moment. Being in a place where women come to us and trust us to walk with them is the most fulfilling part of doing this work.”

The organization is funded through several grants, donations and fundraisers. They offer fourteen initiatives including legal advocacy, a 24-hour domestic and dating violence hotline and a safe house.

“One of the big obstacles that we face is transportation,” says Douglas.

Annually the organization spends more than $10,000 on transportation.

“In addition to that we buy bus tickets. If a family needs to flee, rather than going to a shelter, or if they have family elsewhere we help them get there. The Lyft grant is so critical. It definitely provides a reprieve.”

Lyft Southeast General Manager Sam Bond says providing a reprieve for organizations that are working to improve their communities is the reason the program exist.

“We have a lot of enthusiasm in connecting and partnering with organizations who actively improve their communities,” says Bond. “ As a company we are always looking for ways to do more in the communities we serve and to improve people’s lives.”

During the recent DeKalb County bus driver ‘sick out’ Jean says rides were provided for children to get to and from school.

“We don’t know if it will be somebody on the crisis line, there could be a ride from a hospital to home, or somebody who needs to get to court one day. Every call we get is different and every situation is different.”

She says the $1,000 for Lyft rides is distributed on a first-come first-serve basis.

In addition to the grant, WRCDV regularly purchases MARTA cards to handle transportation needs of survivors.

“Domestic violence is an issue that we can’t carry alone. It takes the assistance of a lot of other organizations.”

On May 10 the organization will host its annual Champions of Change Luncheon. DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston will be honored during the event used to raise funds.

A new organization is chosen every month for the Lyft grant program. Applicants who apply, but have not yet been chose, remain in the monthly drawing.

To apply, visit here.

Participating Cities:

  • Albany
  • Ann Arbor
  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Columbus
  • Cleveland
  • Dallas
  • Detroit
  • Fort Worth
  • Houston
  • Indianapolis
  • Miami
  • Orlando
  • Phoenix
  • Portland
  • Nashville
  • New Jersey
  • New York City
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego
  • Washington D.C.

To inquire about a partnership, click here.

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