CP Photo by Rebeca Addison
Each year, the Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh spends an average of $10,000 on transportation for their clients. This can mean transporting them from their homes or other dangerous living situations to the shelter, but can also mean transportation to and from various medical or legal appointments while they're living in the shelter.
Earlier today, Uber announced they were donating $10,000 to the local shelter to help offset these transportation costs for victims of domestic violence. In turn, the shelter will request rides for their clients using the Uber ride-hailing application.
"When you hear about Uber in Pittsburgh, you generally think of our self-driving cars
and the efforts we make toward the future of transportation. But Uber's investment in Pittsburgh goes much deeper than that," said Shari Shapiro, senior public affairs manager for Uber Pennsylvania. "Affordable and reliable transportation is especially important for the Women's Center's clients. At this moment in their life they are under extraordinary stress, their worlds have been turned upside down and the last thing we want them to have to worry about is how to get to the shelter or how to get to the many appointments they need to put their lives back together."
Shapiro said Uber has developed similar partnerships with homeless shelters, but believes this is Uber's first partnership with a woman's shelter. Asked by Pittsburgh City Paper
if Uber would pay the difference if the cost of the shelter's 2017 Uber rides exceeds the $10,000 donation, Shapiro said, "We'll have to jump off that bridge when we come to it."
The center serves more than 6,000 victims of domestic violence every year, more than 500 of whom include women and their children entering the shelter.
"We are so thankful that this partnership will be an incredibly easy and safe way to help the victims of domestic violence we serve," said Nicole Molinaro Karaczun, director of services for Women's Center and Shelter of Pittsburgh, "
The partnership between Uber and the shelter was spearheaded by Pittsburgh City Councilor Dan Gilman.
"As Pittsburgh moves to a new economy and brings in new economic partners, we have to work together to also realize the importance of corporate and social responsibilities and make sure we're reaching out to the people of our communities when they need it most," said Gilman.