ANDERSON — Obtaining reliable transportation is difficult for low-income families and raising income through gainful employment is difficult without reliable transportation. In an effort to address this catch-22, the United Way of Madison County has funded a new program through JobSource called Moving Madison County.
“This program is in response to what we’ve seen in every single needs assessment in recent years,” said Vincent Smith, community relations manager at JobSource. “Transportation is a large barrier to employment and education.”
Still in the building stages, the program is hoping to match cars donated by community members to families in need that have been through the Central Indiana Community Action Agency family development program. This voluntary program focuses on reducing dependency and increasing self-sufficiency.
Since donated cars are expected to have issues, the Hinds Career Center is on board to offer repair work at the cost of parts. A vocational school that trains juniors and seniors from seven area high schools in automobile service and collision and repair, the Hinds Career Center is the perfect place to obtain free labor while providing an educational experience for students.“Students will use their skills and get hands-on experience,” said Tami Davis, career and education coordinator. “It is a creative low-cost solution that utilizes the resources in our county. It also fosters a sense of countywide community as they are helping others while learning new skills.”
Once repaired, these cars will be sold to program participants for around $500 to $1,000.
“We want the cars to be affordable, but we also want the family to have some buy-in,” said Smith. “The family development program has been making great steps and strides to help people become self-sufficient. We are excited about this new program and are looking forward to being able to do new things.”