Importance of Public Transit to the Homeless Community 

Importance of Public Transit to the Homeless Community 

More than half a million people in the U. S. experience homelessness. There are four types of homelessness chronic, episodic, transitional, and hidden. The most common type is transitional, which is a person going through a major life change or catastrophic event. A life changing moment may be a person losing their job. In the event of job loss a person may face transitional homelessness while they are looking for employment. With many having a lack of options, some turn to the transit vehicles, stops, and stations for shelter, but many also utilize the transit system to reach various destinations.  


The mobility of the homeless is often contained by social, economic, and geographic factors, this includes homelessness in neighborhoods with prominent levels of poverty. Despite homeless individuals’ circumstances mobility is vital to the ability of homeless people to move between places, such as employment.  

Public transportation offers a critical outlet for homeless individuals with few resources. The homeless community uses public transportation to access services for shelter, affordable housing, education, and employment, and these resources are important in improving their quality of life.  


In addition, public transportation is more affordable for our homeless population vs uber or having to pay a family member for a ride. In the transit system, a single route may start at $2.00 and other options for transportation financially may be unobtainable for someone currently experiencing homelessness. With mobility provided by public transit this will enable the homeless community the ability to navigate between stigmatized and non-stigmatized places.  


In the attempt to transition back into housing and the working-class, public transit is an essential part of helping them move forward from homeless to home and from unemployed to employed. Public transit will benefit and aid in moving our beloved homeless community through services in their communities.

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