Shirley

Shirley & Molly“I normally don’t ride that bus. It just so happened I got off work early, and I usually just hang with the kids and wait for the 5:50 p.m. lineup, but something just said go get on that bus and I did. She (Operator Simmons) pulled up and I said ‘I get to ride with you!’”

Shirley, who has been friends with Op. Simmons for over 30 years, boarded the #4 on February 7th from the Robert K. Pfaff Transit Center. The bus was traveling down West Market Street at approximately 5:30 p.m. when Shirley recognized that Op. Simmons needed medical attention.

“We were laughing and talking about my daughter’s wedding and she kept saying ‘I don’t feel good’ and I kept telling her to pull over and she pulled the bus over safely. I didn’t panic.”

Shirley helped Op. Simmons safely stop the bus and put it in park. She then flagged down another bus that was passing through the area. The operator pulled her bus over and immediately contacted a METRO Road Supervisor who then called 911.

“I thank God that other driver came. It was so scary. It could’ve gone so different.”

Today, METRO’s Communications & Marketing Department surprised Shirley at her workplace with flowers and gifts of appreciation.

“Thank you so much. You made my day.”

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Theresa

Theresa portrait“I catch the #104 in Twinsburg from Creekside Park and Ride, which connects me to the #24 at the Transit Center. The bus leaves Creekside at 6:30 a.m., which is earlier than I’d have to leave if I were driving into work, but worth it.”

Theresa works in the Finance Department at METRO. While she is still learning the ins and outs of the company, Theresa said she is no stranger to riding public transportation.

“In Cleveland I rode every mode. I either caught the bus, light rail or heavy rail, and I would catch the Akron METRO bus or the PARTA bus. The difference at METRO is the operators really get to know you and they look out for you by making sure you get where you need to be on time. It’s less stress for me not having to drive in traffic and in bad weather.”

“My original #104 driver is now my #24 evening driver — John. Now my #104 morning driver is Lynn. Melissa drives the #104 in the evening.”

Vicky

Vicky Shockey“I’m a mom, a grandma and a great-grandma.”

“I was homeless twice.”

“The first time, I was homeless 2 ½ weeks and I stayed at the Battered Women’s Shelter. The other time I was homeless for a week and a half. Both times I ended up homeless I went through domestic violence. I went through a lot of abuse … I lost everything I had. It was a struggle for me. I felt like I was not worthy of anything.”

“Right now I’ve been in my job for seven years and I like doing volunteer work. I like to give back to people that feel like they’re not important, or that they have no desires of being worthy. I try to reassure them that you’re not always going to be down. You’re going to have your good days and you’re going to have your bad… I’ve had mine and I’ve recovered from a lot of mine because of my job.”

Vicky volunteered with HM Housing during the nationwide Point-in-Time Count that took place on January 30, 2018. Volunteers were at the Transit Center surveying and helping individuals and families who are homeless.

“I enjoy doing this … it’s a privilege and an honor to me because I’m out here helping people that are in desperate need. Over the four years I’ve been here, I’ve probably helped over 1,000 or so people.”

HM Housing

HM Housing Volunteers (2)“We all work together as one connected team. All of us here … we’re trying to help people in need. We’re trying to get the homeless off the streets and trying to get them into places and get programs where the homeless can get help. We give them hats, scarves, gloves and snacks … children too if we see they need something. We do this because we see the need and the importance of the people that need help.”

Volunteers from HM Housing were at the Transit Center surveying and helping individuals and families who are homeless as part of the nationwide Point-in-Time Count on January 30, 2018. The annual event helps communities plan services and assistance programs to appropriately address local needs, identify the strengths and gaps in the system, and measure progress in decreasing homelessness.