You have just finished meeting with your client, Mary, to review her treatment plan and discuss why she has been missing appointments at your agency. Referring to the state-funded transportation program, Better Transportation Company (BTC), Mary stated, “BTC just don’t show up or I have to wait and sometimes I miss the appointment.” “Sometimes I have to wait for hours to get a ride back home.” “They even forgot me last week.” “You know, back in my younger days, I would have picketed the state house and shown them a thing or two!” “I love the drivers though; they are kind, help me with my bags and walker, and are always polite and respectful.”
Mary has few financial resources and significant mental health needs and physical disabilities. Mary is also finding it difficult to pay for alternative transportation or to rely on friends and family, though they are sometimes available. The therapist has recommended that Mary come to treatment group three times per week. Mary has only been able to attend three groups in the past two months. She states she would be willing to come to the therapy groups if she could find reliable transportation. For Mary, attending these groups would likely mean greater medical and mental health stability and therefore fewer emergency room visits, fewer hospital admissions, and a greater quality of life.
As a human services professional, you already understand that Mary is facing a very real, personal, and difficult problem that may be challenging to remedy quickly. You also know from your experience with other clients that transportation is a systemic issue and not one unique to Mary. Because you have a friend who works at BTC, you have been able to arrange for an opportunity to present your concerns to the company.