MOST OF THE TIME, a person’s ability to make it in the world comes down to one thing: the ability to show up.
James Alexander learned that lesson after the Port Authority of Allegheny County eliminated his bus route to McKeesport, where he worked as a customer service representative.
“I’ve had a car in the past, but I just couldn’t afford one at that time,” says Alexander, who lives on Route 30 in North Versailles. “I really depended on the 60M to get to the office.”
TWO DAYS BEFORE he was released from a long hospital stay, Mark Scanlan realized he was going home to an empty refrigerator, with no food stamps or money to buy food. A 60-year-old resident of the South Side, he left a secure job in food services to care for his mother in New Jersey, who was undergoing chemotherapy. A year later, when he returned to Pittsburgh after her death, he was unable to find work and qualified for food stamps.