Immigrant Allies Earns Grant To Launch Local Public Transportation Service
The national nonprofit Welcoming America has chosen Immigrant Allies, a committee of Humans United for Equality (a non-profit organization in Crawfordsville), to receive a $7,000 grant as part of its Fund to Foster Belonging. Immigrant Allies is one of only twelve recipients to earn this grant nationally. Through a competitive process, Immigrant Allies was chosen because of its commitment to building a more welcoming and inclusive community.
Immigrant Allies will use the grant, in collaboration with the Mayor’s office, to begin a local public transportation service. Both immigrant and non-immigrant people in Crawfordsville, IN, have no access to public transportation that can take them to work, grocery stores, or doctor’s offices. Those who cannot drive or do not own a car or motorcycle must find other means or consistently rely on the good graces of friends and family.
To help remedy this problem, Immigrant Allies will launch a transportation service that pays individual, vetted drivers to transport community residents. Immigrant Allies will organize two public meetings this spring to discuss local transportation needs with affected communities and to finalize service details before launching the program in early fall. They hope to hire bilingual drivers or English-speaking drivers with basic Spanish language skills who will receive professional training before participating in the program.
Commenting on the twelve grant recipients, Rachel Perić, executive director of Welcoming America, said: “We are thrilled to support this latest round of community-driven projects through the Fund to Foster Belonging. By bringing neighbors of different backgrounds together with a shared purpose, these projects underscore the continued need for communities to work better for everyone and for strong, multiracial democracies to thrive.”
About Immigrant Allies
Immigrants play a crucial role in the vitality of our town. As of 2019, 5.3% of Indiana residents and 3.06% (more than 1000 people) of Montgomery County residents were foreign-born. Immigrant Allies aspires to be a bridge connecting the diverse immigrant community with existing residents so that common ground and shared leadership can be realized. We provide translation services, arrange legal aid and transportation, and assist in fundraising for the urgent needs of refugees and immigrants who do not have access to other resources.
Chaired by Agata Szczeszak-Brewer, Immigrant Allies has several other core members and volunteers who work with local communities.
About Welcoming America and the Fund to Foster Belonging
Welcoming America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that leads a movement of inclusive communities becoming more prosperous by ensuring everyone belongs. They believe that all people, including immigrants, are valued contributors and vital to the success of our communities and shared future. Through the Welcoming Network, they work to help communities develop the roadmap they need to create welcoming policies and share new approaches to inclusion to create an environment where everyone can truly thrive.
The Fund to Foster Belonging is part of Belonging Begins With Us, a multi-year campaign to foster a more welcoming nation where everyone — regardless of their background – belongs, with generous support from the Walmart Foundation and others.
About Humans United for Equality:
Humans United for Equality (HUE) is a place for individuals who believe that diversity and equality make our community stronger and our lives richer. They seek to welcome, celebrate, and support marginalized communities in Montgomery County; to create a sense of power in numbers; and to prevent a sense of exclusion or unwelcomeness in Montgomery County. Follow them on Facebook or visit their website at www.huemoco.org to find out more information.