As UGA students, we have a deep appreciation for and owe a debt to the city of Athens. For our senior capstone project, we came together to focus on how to assist people experiencing homelessness in Athens-Clarke County. After much research and meetings with related agencies in Athens, we learned that the main obstacle for people experiencing homelessness in the county is a lack of access to transportation.
We, students of the University of Georgia, implore the university to join in the effort to support those experiencing homelessness in Athens-Clarke County. We propose a new $2 student fee to fund free transportation for people and families experiencing homelessness in Athens-Clarke County. We believe that the city of Athens is the backbone of the beauty and strength of UGA, and that it is our duty to help the community and city in every way we can as students, citizens and a university.
Similar to the Green Fee, we propose a $2 Two for Tomorrow fee in the UGA student fees to alleviate transportation obstacles for people and families experiencing homelessness in Athens-Clarke County. This would generate roughly $150,000 annually for community social services agencies in Athens-Clarke County to distribute bus passes and deliver transportation assistance.
The new policy will help to ease the burden of poverty (families in poverty spend 18% of earnings on bus fares each year—$3,276 of $18,552) in Athens-Clarke County. The policy will also assist the efforts of the UGA Green Fee by resulting in less carbon dioxide pollution through the free bus fare. Multiple community agencies will help deliver this service i.e; domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, local churches and nonprofits.