For many folks who are struggling, the relationship between transportation and employment presents a classic Catch-22: you need a car to get to work (or to find work in the first place) and you need a job to pay for the car.
It's just common sense that a lack of transportation would create a hurdle for local residents trying to find and hold onto employment. Even so, I had a punch-in-the-gut moment when I first read Claudette Riley's profile of local mother Cori Bystrom, who bought her first car this year at age 28.
The vehicle's been a game-changer, of course, when it comes to getting to work or to the grocery store. But when Bystrom described the relief she felt knowing that if one of her kids got sick, she could take them right away to get help ... whew. As a parent, that hit home in a way it hadn't before.
As our essay writers explain, there are efforts afoot locally to help others in our community overcome similar hurdles. And as always, the United Way has prepared a list of resources and ways to get involved if this month's topic sparks an interest.
If you like what you read or have an idea for a topic we should investigate, let us know with an email to email@example.com. We're working with United Way of the Ozarks to map out themes to explore in the new year, and we'd love to dig into a topic of special interest to the community and our readers. Until then, you can catch up on previous installments of Find Your Cause:
April: Family violence.
May: Mental health.
June: Affordable housing.
August: Educational achievement gaps.
September: Financial literacy.
October: Domestic violence.
Amos Bridges is the News-Leader's editor-in-chief. He can be reached at 417-836-1170, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AmosBridgesNL.
This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Find Your Cause: Lack of a car is hurdle to work, health and safety