North Texas Daily

DCTA offers afternoon shuttle to Our Daily Bread shelter and food bank

DCTA offers afternoon shuttle to Our Daily Bread shelter and food bank

DCTA offers afternoon shuttle to Our Daily Bread shelter and food bank
August 04
13:00 2022

The Denton County Transportation Authority recently announced the new 2 p.m. shuttle will provide afternoon transportation from Our Daily Bread’s shelter and food bank. through Aug. 26.

Volunteers Briana Buhake and Richard Shea pose with the sandwiches they just finished preparing at Our Daily Bread on July 29, 2022. Anthony Rubio

Our Daily Bread is a church-affiliated organization that has served the Denton community since 2000. In 2020, the organization combined with Monsignor King Outreach Center and expanded its services to provide housing, hygiene services and health services, according to its website.

“Our Daily Bread’s mission is to feed, shelter and care for the homeless while maintaining the dignity of our guests and offering an opportunity for a fresh start,” said Jenna Edwards, Our Daily Bread’s executive administrative assistant.

The Denton location is a food bank with a cafeteria. It provides a place for those in need to get clothes, meet with caseworkers, pick up mail and stay hydrated during inclement weather. Kathi Sale, Our Daily Bread volunteer and member of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, said the shuttle has significantly helped people traveling to and from the shelter during the heat wave.

“Most of them are used to walking around and walking from one place to the other because it’s just a couple of miles,” Sale said. ” In 100-degree heat, it’s just unbearable. The city has come through with the bus – which is wonderful – so that has really helped.”

DCTA recognized it was important to provide transportation from the local food bank and shelter because of the recent excessive heat.

“The city of Denton actually reached out to DCTA staff about providing additional service for Our Daily Bread in the afternoon, and this was due to the heat that we have been experiencing this summer,” said Pamela Burns, DCTA director of public involvement and communications. “We have a long-standing relationship with Our Daily Bread, and we work with them on a regular basis to help them serve their clients’ transportation options.”

Since July 25, the shuttle has operated during the 2 p.m. hour to get clients back and forth from the food bank to the shelter. Though the last day the shuttle will run for this season is Aug. 26, Burns said DCTA will consider reimplementing the shuttle in the future.

“We actively work with our member cities and other partners to assess what needs there are in the community,” Burns said. “On different occasions, we have provided shuttles due to weather [and] we plan to continue those coordination efforts just to ensure that we are best meeting the needs of the community and the transit-dependent.”

A tray of food is handed out during the lunch service at Our Daily Bread on July 29, 2022. Anthony Rubio

Though the shelter does offer bus vouchers for guests, Edwards said it is important to have overall reliable transportation  available.

“We’ve always had a shuttle that brings people from the shelter to the main site in the morning, but we were never able to close that last gap of getting them back to the shelter until last week,” Edwards said. “So that is a huge win for us.”

Reliable transportation has been cited as a major key to escaping poverty, according to a Harvard study, which measured economic status and mobility.

“Decreasing those barriers, getting our guests from one place to another – it is absolutely vital,” Edwards said. “I think we’ve finally been able to advocate for that partnership and get it where it needs to be just to make everyone’s lives that much easier.”

For those who may think the shuttle is a waste of resources, Sale said she encourages them to look at what the organization does and what it means to people.

“Many people criticize the fact that we are helping people because they think these people don’t deserve help,” Sale said. “I would suggest to anyone who has doubts that there is a need to volunteer and see for themselves instead of criticizing.”

Image source Our Daily Bread

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Lauryn Barron

Lauryn Barron

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