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Angels of Lansing: How KCS Angels is Changing Lives

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Categories: Blog, Community

CATA’s mission is to meet the mobility needs of our region by providing innovative solutions in partnership with the communities we serve. That’s why CATA is proud to support KCS Angels’ mission to help people with disabilities enjoy safe, therapeutic recreation, physical activity and life skills development in an inclusive environment. In the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic, programs for adults with disabilities are underfunded and there is a greater need for programs such as the one KCS Angels provides. In light of this, CATA is showing support for KCS Angels by providing a donation of $2,500 for use toward Spec-Tran services for their members. We’ve provided this with hopes it can help the KCS Angels fulfill their passions with this noble cause.

CATA and KCS Angels standing with large donation check

“It's [this program] everything to me, I don't want to do anything else," said one of the KCS Angels founders, Tracy Smith "I've watched the Angels, all of them, bloom and become themselves." 

Tracy's brother-in-law Scott, and two other adults with disabilities were the co-founders and creators of KCS Angels, which is a registered nonprofit 5o1(c)3 in 2016, to help support peers with inclusive activities in the Lansing area. It was founded with ‘Angels’ as an acronym forming the organization's core values. 

Large group of smiling people sitting on bleachers together.

Attitude - we respect each other and recognize our differences without judgment.

Network - we are pursuing opportunities to strengthen our relationships with similar organizations in the community to build each other up.

Give - we believe in giving back to our community.

Empower - we believe all people have their own unique abilities, we want to be the vessel that helps support and empower everyone.

Love - all people need and deserve to feel valued, safe, and included in the community.

Support - our foundation is to support each other; we do that by listening to each other's needs and desires and incorporating that into our daily life and activities.

 

The daily activities that are provided by KCS Angels are run solely by volunteers.  Others that volunteer with Tracy have found the experience fulfilling, like KCS Angel Big Al, who explains what KCS Angels feels like to him. "Family, because of all these people around me. I don't have a family up in Michigan, so when Tracy came along and told me about KCS Angels a couple years ago at the workshop I used to work at, I asked if I could join. I'm proud to be an Angel because of Tracy and this program."

And for others, the value of KCS Angels is much simpler. "I just like helping people," said Kristin, co-founder and peer of KCS Angels. "We come here to see our friends, we have a good time." 

The purpose and guiding principles of this organization are something CATA deeply empathizes with, which is why CATA has donated $2,500 dollars to KCS Angels so they can provide Spec-Tran services for the members of the organization. [Spec-Tran] is CATA’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complementary paratransit service for people unable to use CATA’s fixed-route system.

If you’re interested in learning more about KCS Angels or are interested in volunteering or donating, visit kcsangels.com to read more. If you’re also interested in finding out more about CATA’s services such as Spec-Tran and more, you can find it as well as service information, trip planning tools, and plenty more helpful service information at their website.

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50 Years in the Making

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Categories: Blog

For the past 50 years, the Capital Area Transportation Authority has been driving mobility solutions that meet the public transit needs of the Capital City Region.

Looking back...

CATA bus circa 1973CATA's first facility on Mill Street, 1792-1978

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CATA through the years...

Since CATA's founding in 1792 its workforce, community influence and regional impact have flourished. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On May 12, 2021, CATA hosted a press conference to discuss its 50th anniversary and corresponding initiatives. 

See what CATA C.E.O, Bradley T. Funkhouser, had to say about the monumental anniversary here.

This content has been published in the 2022 Community Report.

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CATA and LPD collaborate to combat human trafficking

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Categories: Blog

By Ashten Tucker, Assistant Marketing Manager

Community safety has always been a priority for CATA. Now, thanks to a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, CATA has partnered with the Lansing Police Department to combat human trafficking. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about the growing prevalence of human trafficking in the region and to provide information that can help prevent it.

Michigan ranks in the top 10 of all states for human trafficking, with nearly 300 cases reported in 2021.

According to Captain Rodney Anderson, who oversees Lansing Police Department’s human-trafficking mitigation efforts, the driving philosophy behind the CATA-LPD partnership to fight human trafficking is, “If you see something, say something.”Human Trafficking Flyer

In most cases, this means calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888. The hotline is staffed by experts who can help evaluate the situation and recommend appropriate next steps. The service is available 24/7 and supports more than 200 different languages. Anderson noted, if a situation involves immediate danger to an individual, calling 9-1-1 is the recommended response.

To keep the most vulnerable members of the community safe, according to Anderson, it is everyone's responsibility to be observant and to report suspicious circumstances to the proper authorities.

As part of its partnership with CATA, LPD will incorporate key lessons about human trafficking into its educational outreach programs in area schools through the GREAT (Gang Resistance Education and Training) program. Specially trained officers lead school assemblies that teach youth about the warning signs of human trafficking and how they can take action to prevent it from happening to them or a loved one. Additionally, CATA and LPD will work closely with Lansing’s Refugee Development Center to ensure that vulnerable individuals who may experience language or cultural barriers don't become human trafficking victims.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign will also serve as a partner in the creation of informational and training documents. Blue Campaign is a national public-awareness initiative designed to educate the public, area law-enforcement agencies and industry partners.

Together, improving community safety and preventing the exploitation of the region’s most vulnerable citizens is a critical goal for all program partners.

This content has been published in the 2022 Community Report.

 

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