SOTO Ride-to-Work program so successful more dollars needed; JEDO steps up

September 13, 2018. The Topeka Capital-Journal.

A pilot transportation project helping workers get to jobs in south Topeka has been so successful that it is running out of funds, and the Joint Economic Development Organization agreed Wednesday to add $7,800 to finish out the year.

The SOTO Ride-to-Work program launched in late December to offer $5 rides from anywhere within the Topeka city limits to employees working at a number of south Topeka businesses, including Bimbo Bakeries, Home Depot, Target and Mars.

Topeka city officials discuss establishing process to fund affordable housing projects

June 5, 2018. The Topeka Capital-Journal.

Nine years ago, the question before Topeka’s governing body was whether to fix the city’s streets, and the community responded by implementing a half-cent sales tax to accomplish that purpose, Topekan Carol Babcock told the city’s governing body Tuesday evening.

“Today, the question is ‘Do we need to fix affordable housing?’ ” Babcock said. “I say ‘yes.’ ”

Babcock — a member of Topeka JUMP, a faith-based organization asking the city government to do more to deal with affordable housing problems — told city officials she felt pleased they were considering establishing a process through which a housing trust fund the city maintains could be used to target dollars toward affordable housing.

Annual Topeka JUMP meeting focuses on housing and transportation

April 30, 2018. The Topeka Capital-Journal.

About 1,000 people listened intently to a message of justice Monday evening as the Topeka Justice Unity and Ministry Project held its fifth annual meeting to talk about problems the city’s residents face.

The meeting was held at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church, where members of 19 congregations listened to how city officials planned to work on safe and affordable housing and public transportation, the meeting’s two topics.

Topeka JUMP to meet Monday to voice support for affordable housing fund

April 29, 2018. The Topeka Capital-Journal.

A coalition of Shawnee County churches will gather Monday to advocate for an affordable housing trust fund, a concept they have worked on for two years.

Topeka JUMP, which is comprised of 20 churches, will present a proposal to establish the fund using private and public dollars. It prioritizes the creation and preservation of affordable housing, lead organizer Shanae Holman said in a news release.