One of the biggest obstacles for struggling Oklahoma City families could soon be eliminated.
According to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, transportation is one of three major challenges for the families they serve.
“We require a lot of our families to be able to get back together with their kids. Many have to go to court hearings, parenting classes, substance abuse treatment, on and on,” Sheree Powell with DHS said.
Without access to transportation, parents are unable to make it to the meetings required to reunite with their children.
The agency brought these issues to The Arnall Family Foundation months ago.
Thursday, the foundation announced a $1 million grant for transportation innovation in Oklahoma City.
“We have heard from them time and time again how transportation is a barrier for their families in achieving services,” Program Manager for the Arnall Family Foundation Lindsay Laird said.
The Arnall Foundation is now asking for experts to submit plans to make it easier for parents to get around and get their kids back.
“We are looking for innovative, creative ideas that are not only scalable but also sustainable,” Laird said.
As an organization, DHS is hoping a sustainable solution will help them reunite families safely, one ride at a time.
“For biological families who have had their children removed due to abuse or neglect issues, the goal for that family is to reunite them with their children. That's always our goal when safely possible,” Powell said.
The recipients of the grant will be announced in March.