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A pitch to use Lyft, DoorDash to help with lead poisoning initiatives

An abandoned house is overtaken by trees and plants.
City of Syracuse
A house has been abandoned and overtaken by ferns and trees.

A local nonprofit is aiming to help the Syracuse communities facing risk of lead poisoning by proposing a plan to cover rideshare costs for transportation to testing and health care locations.

United Way of Central New York’s plan to alleviate childhood lead poisoning in Syracuse is one of three nonprofit proposals the community can vote on as a part of the Central New York Community Foundation’s participatory budgeting process.

If awarded the funds through a public vote, United Way said it would use $25,000 to cover 734 roundtrip Lyft rides to doctors’ offices or testing sites.

They’d also create information kits that can be delivered to a family through DoorDash. Community Impact Coordinator Sadequa Fore said it would just be like ordering McDonald's through the delivery app.

"The dasher comes to the agency, picks up the item and delivers it same day directly to the door of the person who receives it," Fore said.

Those who have attended a participatory budget meeting over the past nine months will be able to cast votes for this proposal and others starting April 18. Voting opens to the entire community on May 2.

Editor's note: United Way of Central New York is a financial supporter of WAER.

Katie Zilcosky is WAER’s All Things Considered host and features reporter. She also co-hosts WAER’s public affairs show Syracuse Speaks. As a reporter, she focuses on technology, economy, and identity.