The 2017 Huck House Transitional Living Program (TLP) Bus Tour Challenge
Last Friday, the Huck House Transitional Living Program (TLP) Team participated in the first-ever TLP Bus Tour Challenge. The challenge was designed by TLP manager Amanda Glauer. Despite her team’s loss, Amanda was happy about the day and everything the team learned. She answers some questions about the challenge below. Be sure to read to the end and scroll through the fun photos of the day!
Why did you think the staff should learn about COTA?
I wanted staff to learn how to plan routes so they are better able to help the young people they work with get to where the need to go. Some of our young people will rely on COTA & are not familiar with how to use it. We, as staff, need to feel confident and knowledgeable to be able to help them. I wanted staff to feel comfortable switching buses, using the pass, seeing different parts of the city.
I wanted us to be reminded how hard our clients have to work to accomplish daily tasks. Sometimes their bus to work or school can be 90 minutes. Think about the task of just getting groceries. Carrying all of your groceries on to the bus and then walking a block home from the bus stop just to get them home. Empathy.
Can you describe the challenge you set up for TLP staff?
I provided a list of 20 places/locations that many of our clients have to go to: medical facilities, grocery stores, daycare, schools, discount stores, etc. Each location was worth 1 point unless it was really far.
Jobs & Family Services is a long bus ride (all our kids have to go there at some point) so it was worth 5 points. And a couple of other locations were 5 points. Staff was divided into 2 teams and had to work together to plan a route to gain the most points. The team that gained the most points between 10am and 2pm won the challenge.
Points were verified by team pictures. At each location, teams had to take pictures and send them back to the Huck House office.
Also, staff were not allowed to use smartphones/data to look up routes while on route. Many of our kids do not have smart phones or data, so our trip had to mimic what our clients experience! I am sure the staff loved me for that rule!
The bus tour challenge was a really great reminder of
the work our clients put in to their daily life.
What were the biggest takeaways from the bus tour?
It’s a lot of work to plan and know where you are going. Timing the bus and hoping its on time so you are not late is stressful. Keeping track of your bus pass is harder than you would think! And there is no just running to do something real quick.
Just to go to our first stop of Kroger, we had to walk 2 blocks, wait almost 10 minutes for the bus, make many stops before we got to the store..and that was with no children. Many of our clients have kids. A really great reminder of the work our clients put in to their daily life. And…as mental health professionals we understand mental health issues. There are people on the bus who are struggling. To a client with a trauma history and not understanding mental health..the bus can be scary.
The bus tour challenge accomplished all I had hoped for our staff. The team building part was an added bonus! The only negative of the experience was having to present the other team with the custom-made trophy!