Garden State Equality to Make Transportation Available to LGBTQ Community to Access Life-Changing Services through Lyft
Garden State Equality will distribute ride credits to help those seeking shelter access a safe haven at Essex County LGBT RAIN Foundation
Asbury Park, NJ (Oct. 29, 2020) – Garden State Equality today announced that in partnership with Lyft, it will provide access to transportation for the LGBTQ community in emergency situations throughout New Jersey. The partnership is part of LyftUp, Lyft’s comprehensive effort to expand transportation access to those who need it most. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Lyft has activated more than 500 LyftUp partners – including public health entities, local governments, nonprofits and community organizations – to provide free rides and free delivery of essential goods for vulnerable communities and critical workers.
Using the GSE designated code in the Lyft app, those in the Garden State Equality network will have access to free rides to and from Essex County RAIN Foundation and other homeless facilities for shelter as part of a safety program till the end of the year, while supplies last.
Garden State Equality is New Jersey’s largest LGBTQ education and advocacy organization with over 150,000 members. This partnership launched in October, known nationally as LGBTQ history month.
“We receive calls weekly from young people who have been kicked out of their homes simply because of who they love or how they identify. This partnership with Lyft will ensure those most vulnerable in our community receive essential services in a reliable way,” said Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of Garden State Equality. “In fact, we’ve seen an uptick since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Often, schools are a safe haven for youth with an unsupportive family environment, but with social distancing, families have been spending a lot more time together and tensions can run high. While it’s never acceptable for parents to disown their children, disowning your child during a pandemic is unthinkable. Unfortunately, there are those with hate in their hearts.”
“We want to increase access to transportation for those who need it, particularly to meet their essential needs during this time. By activating LyftUp, we’re able to partner with Garden State Equality to fill mobility needs for LGBTQ community members in need of shelter and support,” said Andrew Woolf, Regional Director, Lyft. “We’re also grateful to all those who drive with Lyft for helping provide rides for those in need. Lyft is supporting drivers by creating new opportunities to help them earn additional income through the Lyft app and continuously working to protect their safety.”
To make sure riders and drivers know the best ways to protect themselves and those around them, Lyft is providing continuous updates. To learn more about how else Lyft is supporting its community during this time, visit its blog.
Lyft was founded in 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation and is available to 95 percent of the United States population as well as select cities in Canada. Lyft is committed to effecting positive change for our cities and making cities more livable for everyone through initiatives that bridge transportation gaps, and by promoting transportation equity through shared rides, bikeshare systems, electric scooters, and public transit partnerships.
ABOUT GARDEN STATE EQUALITY
Established in 2004, Garden State Equality (GSE) is the largest LGBTQ advocacy organization in New Jersey and one of the most successful statewide civil rights organization for the LGBTQ community in the nation. Their services include advocacy, policy work, and trainings. In collaboration with community partners, Garden State Equality led efforts to ensure nondiscrimination for transgender people and gender nonconforming people in New Jersey, we passed the most comprehensive anti-bullying law in the country, ended sexual orientation and gender identity/expression change efforts in New Jersey (sometimes called conversion therapy), and brought marriage equality to the Garden State!
Their work is informed by racial, economic, and disability justice concerns. They work to address safe environments for youth, improve health services that meet LGBTQ community needs, and respectful treatment of seniors. Beyond that, Garden State Equality supports New Jersey’s activist community by bringing an LGBTQ lens to the shared struggle for justice.