FloCrit Partners with Lyft to Help Get Moms to School
The Denver metro area continues to experience gentrification on an unprecedented scale, with low-income families being pushed further and further away into neighboring counties, where rent may be more affordable. FloCrit’s teen moms are no exception to this trend.
The Denver metro area continues to experience gentrification on an unprecedented scale, with low-income families being pushed further and further away into neighboring counties, where rent may be more affordable. FloCrit’s teen moms are no exception to this trend. The percentage of FloCrit teen moms who live in Denver has decreased from 90% to 56% in just ten years. Teen moms accessing our programs are coming from, at minimum, 48 different zip codes across four counties. This trend has exacerbated our ongoing challenges with regard to transportation, and as a result, attendance.
This year, FloCrit’s Student and Family Support Program (SFSP) teamed up with Lyft, the popular vehicle-for-hire company, to temporarily address some of the transportation needs of our young moms. To date, Lyft has provided a total of $19,000 in transportation funds to help our young moms access FloCrit programming. About 30 young moms have benefited from this support, accessing over 400 rides thus far—including 15-year-old Sunshine and her baby daughter, Violet. Sunshine lives 30 minutes away from FloCrit by car, but she does not have anyone to drive her. Her only option was a 90-minute commute involving three RTD busses and 25 minutes of walking. Sunshine’s SFSP Family Advocate assigned her to the Lyft program, which offered her and Violet a ride to school and back home every day.
Donica Snyder, FloCrit’s Family Advocate Manager, remarks, “It’s been amazing to see how safe, reliable transportation helps some of our teen moms. While it’s not the solution for every attendance issue, a significant number have increased their attendance as a result of this experiment with Lyft.” Sunshine adds, “The Lyft rides helped me get to school so my daughter can get her education, and I can get my education.” With Sunshine attending regularly, Violet also benefits from the quality early childhood education offered at the FloCrit campus.
While it is evident that regular use of vehicle-for-hire services could have major impacts on academic outcomes for our teen moms, it does come at a significant financial investment. “Hopefully, this experiment with Lyft helps demonstrate to our public partners the value of investments in transportation,” explains Ms. Snyder. FloCrit continues to be grateful for Lyft’s partnership, and looks forward to working with them and other community partners to solve issues of transportation for our teen families.