A United Way program helps put people on the road to a better life, either free rides to the doctor or to school.
In WAAY 31's Connecting North Alabama, we spoke with two men, with two completely different backgrounds and personal stories, but they share one thing in common; they both Ride United and said it's changed their lives for the better.
"Without Ride United, I wouldn't be able to go to my doctor’s appointments, I wouldn't be able to get my insulin and I wouldn't be able to continue treatment because I wasn't able to make my appointments for my mental health, wasn't able to do any of that without Ride United," said Jake McKinney.
McKinney came to Alabama in the winter of 2021 with nothing but a suitcase. He learned about Ride United when he was finding a ride to his vaccine appointment.
Ride United is a free transportation service to get people to and from work, as well as school and doctors appointments. They believe anyone who wants to work or go to school should be able to.
"It's the fact that I couldn't go, I didn't have any transportation and it's like how they came in and just immediately helped," said Joseph Galloway.
Because of Ride United, Galloway can now go to Calhoun Community College and then begin his job hunt.
"It's like so exciting," Galloway smiled. "It's giving me an opportunity to, you know, not only get a job and help me get in there, but it's helping me fulfill my dream long term of getting a car and saving up for that, while I have the job and getting a nice apartment in Huntsville."
Ride United said the free transportation allows them to offer a hand up to people in need, instead of just a handout.
Ride United is in its second year of providing free rides to people in Huntsville so they can go to and from work. They've given about 3,000 rides to people in need so far this year.
To apply for the Ride United program, click here.