Rural Health Network (RHN) of South Central New York’s Getthere Transportation to Employment Program (TEP) is expanding into Tioga County, thanks to a grant from Tioga County Rural Ministry. The grant was made possible by a bequest from Eugene “Bucky” Benson in honor of his wife, Julie Hill Benson.
TEP meets a previously unmet need in the community by providing short-term financial assistance to individuals while they build their earnings to cover the costs of transportation to work. Concurrently, Getthere works with each individual to identify and establish a long-term, sustainable commuting strategy.
Late in 2018, Getthere rolled out TEP in Broome County. After a successful 2019, serving hundreds of Broome residents, Getthere secured this new funding from Tioga County Rural Ministry (TCRM) to expand TEP into Tioga County. TCRM’s Board of Directors, in reviewing their mission “to serve the unmet needs of Tioga County residents who are sick, poor, or elderly,” determined that the County’s greatest unmet need was access to transportation. They then determined to set aside a portion of the bequest to help meet those needs. According to TCRM’s Executive Director Sister Mary O’Brien, “Early on, it was clear that Rural Health Network of South Central New York would be our best partner since they have a long and superb history of working to improve transportation access in South Central New York. Once our Board learned of the Transportation to Employment program, we were eager to fund that initiative. It resonates with our deep desire to assist people in our community who want to work but who need some initial help to fulfill that desire.”
According to Getthere Director Bill Wagner, “It is our plan to eventually offer this service to residents of all five counties we serve. This program is about more than a ride — it offers individuals hope, a chance at employment, and a chance to better their lives.”
TEP benefits low-income residents who are often unemployed, under-employed, seeking employment, and who have identified transportation as a barrier to sustained employment. Additionally, individuals who are employed but do not have affordable, dependable transportation are served. Referrals from this program come from Broome-Tioga Workforce, the Department of Social Services, and other local agencies that assist individuals seeking employment.
Rural Health Network of South Central New York’s Getthere Transportation to Employment Program is funded by Governor Cuomo’s Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI), through the Binghamton-Broome Anti-Poverty Initiative (BBAPI), a program of the United Way of Broome County.
Getthere is a program of Rural Health Network of South Central New York.