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What is Get On The Bus?

Get On The Bus unites families by bringing children and their guardians/caregivers from throughout the state of California to visit their mothers and fathers in prison.
Get On The Bus also raises awareness about the plight of children with parents in prison by coordinating a media campaign for print and broadcast media outlets.

What is the purpose of Get On The Bus?

Get On The Bus believes deeply that children have the right to speak with, see and touch their parent despite the separation created by distance and current correctional system policies. Children of incarcerated parents pay dearly for crimes they did not commit: the loss of their home, safety, public status and self-image, the source of their love and affection.

What does Get On The Bus Provide?

  • Free transportation for the children and their caregivers to the prison.
  • Travel bags for the children,
  • Comfort care bags for the caregivers.
  • A family photo of each child with his or her mother or father.
  • Meals for the day (breakfast, snacks on the bus, lunch at the prison and dinner on the way home),
  • Each child receives a teddy bear and personal letter from his or her parent after the visit; and
  • Post-visit counseling on the ride home provided by volunteer therapists;
  • A resource database to refer children and grandparents to additional services they may need (mentoring, Grandparents As Parents, Kairos Retreats, etc.).

Is this a free trip?

Yes, everything provided by Get On The Bus is FREE!

Why Do The Children Need Transportation?

Children with a Mother or Father in prison are usually cared for by relatives, often grandparents. Many caregivers are unable to make the drive due to distance or expense. Get On The Bus offers a priceless opportunity––a parent 's hug, a family photo, a private conversation and a connection with hope and healing.

When Does It Take Place?

Get On The Bus takes place annually around Mother's and Father's Day. We have also expanded our programming to include fall and holiday visitation. 

Where does the bus leave from?

The children and their guardians depart from major cities throughout California on chartered buses that travel to prisons in Chowchilla, Corona, San Luis Obispo, Solano, San Quentin, Folsom and Soledad.

How Can I Help?

Get On The Bus is made possible thanks to the generosity of individuals and groups who have a heart for this special mission. Here are some ways that you can help:

  • Volunteer to be on the local Get On The Bus Team.
  • Be an Event, Bus, Family or Child Sponsor by contributing $2000, $550, $350 or $100, respectfully.
  • Make a donation of any amount to help fund buses, food, travel bags and teddy bears.
  • Organize an activity at your faith center, school or organization to raise money or prepare bags and teddy bears to create awareness about the children of parents in prison.
  • Donate in-kind services such as blankets for the kids, items for the travel bags or supplies for the bus.Be a T-shirt sponsor.
  • Call the office to find out how you can help contribute or gather in-kind goods or services.

How do I become a volunteer on the local bus team in my area?

You can contact one of our Regional Coordinators in the area nearest you and they will refer you to a local team based on your geographic area.

How does my Organization / Church support one bus in our area?

Call the central office and offer to sponsor a bus. Your organization will need a leader and a team of volunteer who will be invited to our training day. Your organization must agree to be named as the agency sponsoring the bus.

How do I contact Get On The Bus?

Please contact the main GOTB office or the Regional Coordinator in your area.

Main Office: Southern California Office
6400 Laurel Canyon Blvd. Ste 304
North Hollywood, CA 91606
818-#980-7714 Office
818-980-7702 Fax

Is there someone able to give a talk to my organization / Church about the Get On The Bus Program?

Yes, contact the central office. We will refer you to the local team and they will assist you.

Can I Get On The Bus?

Yes, if you have a Mother or Father in prison, or if you are accompanying a child who has a Mother or Father is prison, you can Get On The Bus. Those who work on the local team ride the bus to assist with the trip. The program is not able to accommodate "volunteer riders" due to capacity restraints at the prison.

Where does Get On The Bus Go?

  • Central California Women's Facility, Chowchilla (CCWF)
  • California Institution for Women, Corona (CIW)
  • Folsom Women's Facility (FWF)
  • California Men's Colony, San Luis Obispo (CMC)
  • Correctional Training Facility, Soledad (CTF)
  • Salinas Valley State Prison, Soledad (SVSP)
  • Folsom State Prison (FSP)
  • San Quentin State Prison (SQSP)
  • California State Prison, Sacramento (CSP-SAC)
  • FCI Dublin Federal Correctional Institution

Where does Get On The Bus pick me up?

The buses leave from different places all over California. So far we have buses leaving from or stopping in the following areas:

  • Antelope Valley
  • Bakersfield
  • Fresno
  • Long Beach
  • Los Angeles
  • Oakland
  • Orange County
  • Sacramento
  • San Bernardino / Riverside
  • San Diego
  • San Fernando Valley
  • San Francisco
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • San Jose
  • San Luis Obispo
  • Santa Rosa
  • South Los Angeles
  • Stockton
  • Ventura / Santa Barbara
  • Visalia


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