Public services are essential to the welfare of our local communities. Everyone in Kansas City should have access to reliable and time efficient public transportation. This is especially true for families and individuals that are making an effort to pull themselves out of poverty. Kansas Citians also deserve the chance to pursue all opportunities available to them, regardless of what language they speak.

Issue 1: Improve public transportation so that all Kansas Citians can safely and affordably navigate opportunities.

Many of the individuals who access services at JVS depend on a robust public transportation system. Individuals with disabilities, refugees adjusting to the U.S., and families trying to leave poverty need reliable and affordable ways to get to work, school, and crucial appointments. Transportation is often a challenge due to long wait times at bus stops and a lack of bus routes to areas of job opportunities. A 2011 study by the Brookings Institute found that only 18% of the jobs in the Kansas City metro region were accessible to job seekers using public transportation with less than a 90 minute commute. JVS supports regional investments in public transportation as infrastructure that supports full employment, catalyzes economic growth, and facilitates literal ‘mobility’ by bringing people to the opportunities they seek.

Issue 2: Ensure everyone in our community can understand and be understood.

For JVS clients who are newcomers to the U.S. and have not yet mastered English, or use languages such as Braille or American Sign Language, having crucial information and assistance in their own language can make the difference between successfully advancing or encountering an insurmountable roadblock. As of 2016, approximately 11% (51,500) of Kansas City, MO, citizens are speakers of non-English languages.

JVS works for active enforcement of language accommodation policies, while building organizations’ capacity to meet language challenges.

For additional information, check out the following resources:
Limited English Proficiency FAQ
When Access to Language Means Access to Justice (Poverty Law)


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