Last night, the Safe Rides team went to the December Budget Committee meeting to ensure that we gain half our annual costs for the 2016-2017 year. Unfortunately, the BET rejected our proposal. This means that without these funds, Safe Rides will be unable to operate after February 1st of the new year…
The Greenwich First Selectman’s Youth Commission (FSYC), with the assistance of First Selectman Mr. Peter Tesei and Greenwich Youth Services Coordinator Ms. Jennifer Byxbee, is developing a plan to reestablish Safe Rides in Greenwich.
The FSYC includes teenagers from Greenwich High School, Greenwich Academy, the Brunswick School and Convent of the Sacred Heart who collaborate to improve the quality of life for all local youth by expressing their concerns about the community.
The Board of Estimation and Taxation (BET) declined funds for the Safe Rides program on Wednesday, making it questionable whether the program will operate during the 2016-2017 year.
The program had requested $18,000 which would cover about half its costs.
From September to December 2016 Safe Rides provided 400 rides to over 900 kids. In 2016, the program provided over 1,000 rides to 3,500 passengers.
No sooner had the clock struck 10 p.m. last Friday, before the phone (203-869-8445) rang at Safe Rides with a local high school student requesting a ride home from a back Greenwich party. Saturday night saw multiple cell phone calls from a remote wooded area of Greenwich that turned out to be the scene of a high school party attended by 40-50 teens.
Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei has said it is important to protect the youth of the Town. So he worked with other Town officials to create the First Selectman’s Youth Commission.
“They really have say and input in projects that matter to them,” said Jenny Byxbee the Town’s Youth Services Coordinator.
The Safe Rides program has received funding from the Junior League of Greenwich just in time for prom season.
Safe Rides provides transportation to Greenwich high school students who need a ride home from a party or function for any reason. It had been run by the Red Cross but when that organization shifted its focus solely to disaster relief last year, someone else was needed to take over a program praised by police for helping prevent potential drunken driving tragedies.
It is Friday evening and as I watch the snow fall I am thinking about Greenwich youth. Two weeks ago at this time I was walking into the Transportation Association of Greenwich, TAG, and was greeted by teenage volunteers playing Cards Against Humanity, eating cones and chicken nuggets provided by Garden Catering (Old Greenwich) all while anticipating helping their peers who would call the Safe Rides Hotline that evening.