Experience traveling on Greyhound

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lenarenee

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Okay, I really didn't want to bring this problem to the forum, but I haven't found help anywhere else, so here goes...

My friend and I are helping two women who are stranded here. The elderly mother is recovering from major surgery, the adult daughter is high functioning autistic, but a cancer patient. They came here for the grandmother's funeral, but were abandoned by their companion. Quite frankly I understand why. They are sweet and charming, but simple minded and traveling with 5 - yes - 5 small dogs.

They need to get from Oceanside, (or San Diego area) to Reno Nevada.
The mother has been begging for money and usually makes the 60 dollars needed to pay for a cheap hotel, but not enough to pay for bus tickets.

They're also waiting for Dr.'s letters proclaiming the dogs as therapy or service dogs. Greyhound's website state's only service animals allowed. They said they've taken them aboard busses before without issue. However, I'd like make sure they don't get thrown off a bus (when we do get money for bus fare) on their way to Reno. These women are exhausted and just don't have the ability or cleverness to live on the streets.

They aren't residents of CA, nor victims of domestic and violent crimes, so I haven't found any help for them.

Has anyone had experience with Greyhound and pets? Can you think of any other cheap travel options? Thank you. I can't believe how hard it is to get just 2 - 300 dollars for fare and food for these women.
 

nsmar4211

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No answers but wanted to say good luck. I can't imagine 5 dogs passing as service animals....

Can either of these ladies drive? What about renting a car?
 

lenarenee

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No answers but wanted to say good luck. I can't imagine 5 dogs passing as service animals....

Can either of these ladies drive? What about renting a car?[/QUOTEN

Neither has a current license. And renting a car would be great - but we'd need a driver too.
 

BattleGnome

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They may be able to apply for mental health services or at least emergency housing through the DHS office. If nothing else that might help elevate the housing costs and cost of food, or they can help track down someone who might have more recourses. The tricky thing is HIPPA breaks down when you get into talking about a person with developmental/mental disabilities. If the daughter has a case manager or receives services back home you can potentially contact someone there to call about the housing issue and confirm the need for therapy animals.

None of this helps with the question of transportation but it may help you locate family or friends who can make things easier.
 

CaraBou

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Do they know anyone in Reno that -- for gas money and a bump more -- would come get them? Someone from their church or social service maybe?

Just curious, how did you encounter them?
 

CaraBou

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Actually, a car rental is a pretty good idea if you can find a jolly, patient driver. Looks like an 8 hour drive, which isn't too bad. Then a quick flight home for the chauffeur. Donated airline miles would make that part palatable.

Another idea is a hybrid with what I already posted -- could someone in Reno meet in the middle? That would spread the pain, so to speak.
 

lenarenee

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Do they know anyone in Reno that -- for gas money and a bump more -- would come get them? Someone from their church or social service maybe?

Just curious, how did you encounter them?
They haven't lived in Reno long enough to make strong connections. According to the daughter, her social worker can't help her until she's back in Nevada.
But despite her being high functioning, I can't be sure of that without asking for all this medical and personal information that I shouldn't be party to. They need a professional.

Someone has snapped a photo and turned the mother into to the police for panhandling, so now she scared of being arrest. She won't be out trying to make money tomorrow, so after tomorrow night there will be no more funds for them motel.

I've contacted several churches to ask for help, but no responses yet.

How did I meet them? First I drove past the mother 2 weeks ago when meeting a friend for breakfast. A friend later spoke of buying her a fresh meal, talking to and giving her money. She realized how vulnerable and simple she was, with a sick daughter, so we tried to help.
 

DeeAnna

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Possibly the local humane society could help. Sometimes someone can adopt a dog from a kill shelter, but the dog lives a state or two away, so volunteers will for a transportation chain -- one person will transport the animal from point A to B, then someone else from B to C, and so on, so no one person has to do the entire trip.
 

lenarenee

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They may be able to apply for mental health services or at least emergency housing through the DHS office. If nothing else that might help elevate the housing costs and cost of food, or they can help track down someone who might have more recourses. The tricky thing is HIPPA breaks down when you get into talking about a person with developmental/mental disabilities. If the daughter has a case manager or receives services back home you can potentially contact someone there to call about the housing issue and confirm the need for therapy animals.

None of this helps with the question of transportation but it may help you locate family or friends who can make things easier.
What is DHS? Heath and human services? Cursory search shows it takes weeks to go through the application process. We have something here in CA called 211, and a got a short list of places for non residents to contact. Only one has anything for emergency housing vouchers, and no emergency cash.
 

lenarenee

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Possibly the local humane society could help. Sometimes someone can adopt a dog from a kill shelter, but the dog lives a state or two away, so volunteers will for a transportation chain -- one person will transport the animal from point A to B, then someone else from B to C, and so on, so no one person has to do the entire trip.
I will look into that.
 

BattleGnome

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What is DHS?
DHS is the Department of Human Services.

I don't have any experience working directly with DHS but you may be able to make an appointment with someone to ask advice. At the same time it could just be easier to purchase tickets and send them on their way.
 

CaraBou

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It seems like getting them back to Reno as quickly as possible is the best solution for everyone, assuming they have housing there. If you're pretty confident they do, and you can find a sure way to get them there, I pledge $100 toward the effort. I'm not big on donating directly to homeless people but if there's a long-term solution I would be willing to help.
 

Soapmaker145

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Would it be possible to contact the Salvation Army to ask for help? They may be able to provide temporary housing and food for few days. Also, Amtrak may have a community outreach office. Another possibility is to try Uber public relation office. They could set up a chain to get these poor women home and absorb the cost. If you know somebody with social media savvy, they could help raise the needed funds. You're not looking for much.

These situations can be so difficult. Kudos to you for getting involved. Let us know how it turns out and if you decide to raise the money.
 

Susie

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Salvation Army helped with situations like that back in Louisiana (homeless, etc). I assume the same is true in every state. I would also ask the Red Cross, as you never know what they can or can't do.
 

lenarenee

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You people are making me cry with hope! Every one gather around for a group hug!

I've just got off the phone with 211 in Nevada, and they've advised me to call 2 shelters, Adult protective Services, and Elder Protection, and Greyhound - their Greyhound sometimes foots the bill for stranded people BUT we have to prove they have a place to stay in Reno. They don't. I don't know if they'll accept a motel as proof. The mother receives her $1200 ss funds on December 3, which goes onto a card, not a paper check in the mail. I just don't want them swallowed in homelessness before they can get the money. At this point, for a few hundred dollars they are saveable.

The shelter (assuming its not full) is walkable distance or cheap Uber distance from both the bus and train in Reno.

I can afford another 100 - 200 for them (unless I have to use that for immediate motel here in CA), one of my childcare parents has offered to pay for a ticket. I have a friend who works for a huge church and has witnessed them give out just this type of financial help - so I'll call them Monday for an appointment.

I'm going to call every possible place in Reno tomorrow, plus email as many churches as possible too. I'd really love to have someone - professional or volunteer - meet them in Reno to help them help keep them focused on their needs.

The dogs are an issue. I know they will choose to keep the dogs instead of giving them up to stay at the women's shelter. Hmm. Unless the Dr.s so have the documentation that at lease some of them are therapy dogs - they may get to keep some.

This is exhausting work. Once upon a time I wanted to be a social worker. So over that now.

Thank you so much for all of your ideas, please keep them coming.

And Carabou, if I find a solution that fits your criteria, I'll thankfully take your donation.
 

lenarenee

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Salvation Army helped with situations like that back in Louisiana (homeless, etc). I assume the same is true in every state. I would also ask the Red Cross, as you never know what they can or can't do.
Great idea! I never thought about the Red Cross! Still waiting to hear from Salvation Army, but I'm going to call the one in Reno.

Should try Catholic Charities too!
 

lenarenee

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Would it be possible to contact the Salvation Army to ask for help? They may be able to provide temporary housing and food for few days. Also, Amtrak may have a community outreach office. Another possibility is to try Uber public relation office. They could set up a chain to get these poor women home and absorb the cost. If you know somebody with social media savvy, they could help raise the needed funds. You're not looking for much.

These situations can be so difficult. Kudos to you for getting involved. Let us know how it turns out and if you decide to raise the money.
I will do that - call Amtrak. After all, the worst they can say is no, which is the status quo we're already used to.

I am not on FaceBook, I like my privacy. I do have a good friend in Florida who is very experienced with it, but....how would that help?
 
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