June 16, 2021

Gp Delivers

The excellent automotive artisans

Daytona Beach homeless shelter starts resident transportation program

DAYTONA BEACH — Ashley Baker’s four small children are always going to be searching the corners of their minds for memories of their mother.

Baker’s parents will be walking around with holes in their hearts, and her sister will never shake off the emptiness of losing her best friend.

Read More:First Step Shelter resident killed in tragic crash mourned by friends and staff at shelter

But one thing brings some peace to Baker’s family as they trudge through the aftermath of her tragic Jan. 25 death, when the 30-year-old was hit by a pickup truck on U.S. Highway 92 in front of First Step Shelter.

Ashley Baker, who had been staying at First Step Shelter in Daytona Beach in January, was killed late last month when she was hit by a truck on the highway in front of the shelter. A new program to help shelter residents with transportation is being named in her honor. Ashley's photo is pictured here lying in her baby's playpen (Photo provided by Alyssa Baker)

Staff members at the homeless shelter where Baker was staying are about to launch a new program that’s hoped to prevent what happened to her from ever happening again.

The program is called Ashley’s Ride, and it will give shelter residents options for transportation — options Baker didn’t have when she was crossing a four-lane highway in the foggy pre-dawn darkness to get to a bus stop.

Previous coverage:Daytona First Step homeless shelter resident killed in Daytona crossing U.S. 92 to new job

Ashley’s Ride will cover costs for residents to use Uber and Lyft. If enough donations come in, First Step could also buy another vehicle to transport residents when Votran buses aren’t good options.

First Step Shelter resident Gia Lana Moore became a friend of Ashley Baker during the three weeks Baker was at the shelter before she died. Moore has sketched out the butterfly that will become part of the Ashley's Ride logo for the new First Step Shelter transportation program.

There’s an existing First Step van that holds 15 passengers, but there’s only one driver who works from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Alyssa Baker is elated that the program will bear her sister’s name, and that it could help protect shelter residents.

“This is what I’ve been trying to fight for in my sister’s honor,” Alyssa said. “I just didn’t know where to begin.”