Transit Key to Wrap Around Services

  • Author: Laurel Schwartz
  • Date: July 25, 2023

In rural Arkansas, county coordinators support families in crisis to help connect them with necessary services. Transit is a key part of the equation.

Arkansas is a largely rural state with a strong sense of community. Community members were concerned about the rapidly growing prison and foster care populations. They knew that there were public services available to families in crisis, but it was challenging to connect clients with the support they needed.

100 Families

Paul Chapman, Director of Restore Hope, was working at a church in Little Rock, AR. For 10 years, he led a team that provided direct services for people who were incarcerated, and their families. As he spent more time working with these populations, he began thinking about how to prevent clients from getting incarcerated in the first place.

“One of the things that we run into was that many of our clients have a suspended driver’s license for a misdemeanor crime. In Arkansas, failure to show up or pay the fine one month later will result in a suspension of your license and a warrant for your arrest,” he explained.

Chapman and his team recognized that outstanding fines and misdemeanor charges were the first hurdle families in crisis were facing. “The client might be heading in the right direction but if they get pulled over for expired tags or a moving violation, they’re taken to jail to serve a warrant, then they’re in jail, which means they lose their job. Then they get kicked out of their home,” said Chapman.

To help families overcome that obstacle, Chapman’s team got grants to establish back-end services for a court resolution team to review a driver control portal run by the state of Arkansas. The court resolution team can identify outstanding fines and warrants across different counties and can help clients pay and resolve their legal issues. Only then can case managers connect clients with social services that will have a lasting impact.

When the court resolution team helped 100 families resolve legal issues that were hindering their progress towards independence, they identified that their program successful.

Today, the 100 Families alliance connects clients with existing services from 460 different providers. “The success of a client should be limited by their will and personal desires and capabilities, not their logistical capabilities and access,” said Chapman.

To help clients and case managers coordinate these interactions, Restore Hope Restore Hope provides communities with a collaborative case management software called HopeHub, which summarizes the client’s needs, services provided, and recommended next steps. Using this program empowers Restore Hope network services around Arkansas and maximize partnerships to help clients move from crisis to career.

Community Solutions

Restore Hope’s White County Coordinator Dana Baker has been working with communities to identify transportation solutions for clients in crisis. To implement the 100 Families model, Baker launched a transportation committee with representatives from the local university, local hospital system, United Way, county judge, mayor, and the Departments of Workforce Services, Human Services, Adult Education, and Senior Adult Services.

“Because we’re a collective impact collaborative, we know a lot of resources, so we just dig,” said Baker. “We call partners in other counties and other states and asked them what they’ve used.”

Chapman and Baker explained that the most realistic transportation solution for clients is helping them get a car and maintain employment so they can pay for fuel, as most of Arkansas is rural. However, Baker’s transportation committee is designing fixed transit routes using small vans paid for by the municipalities and services clients will access with that transit.

Baker’s clients also need access to services like women’s health procedures and rehabilitation programs that aren’t available in Arkansas. For some women’s health services, Restore Hope has reached out to organizations that provide rideshares for clients.

While Restore Hope works hard to successfully connect families with services in Arkansas, they also support clients to connect clients with programs in other states when needed. Most rehabilitation programs in Arkansas are faith-based, and don’t always work for clients, Baker explained. Further, there are few beds available in the state for dual diagnosis patients, like clients experiencing mental health crises and substance abuse simultaneously. 

Some insurance companies will pay for plane tickets to rehabilitation facilities sometimes as far as Florida, but the challenge often is getting clients care quickly. “Clients have time constraints, like their kids are in foster care, or they’re facing a bad addiction crisis where their life is at risk. We want to make sure we can get them connected with care quickly,” said Baker.


Network. “Get out and get to know people. They’re not going to come to you,” said Baker. Go to every event that’s available in your community, she advised. Connect with other providers to find out what’s working, and not.

For more information, contact Dana Baker at


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