Project Description

Project:

Build a fleet of additional leased vehicles to CityLink training graduates starting new jobs, to solve the transportation dilemma of how to get a job without a car, and how to get a car without a job.

Grant Award:

$100,000

With Impact 100 funds Changing Gears will:

Expand the Bridge Program, which began in 2019. The program was created to eliminate a major transportation dilemma for the working poor.

How do you get to a job without a car? How do you get a car without a job? When a client graduates from a CityLink industry training program and has a job offer paying at least $15 per hour, the Bridge Program provides an affordable and reliable vehicle for nine months, with no money due at the start of the program. This allows a client to start their new job and begin receiving income, thereby bridging the gap between employment and transportation. Clients make monthly payments of $200, which covers use of the vehicle and all maintenance and repairs. Changing Gears also covers the first month of insurance. Successful clients make all of their payments on time and continue financial counseling with SmartMoney Financial Education services and are rewarded with a 25 percent rebate of their lease payments to be used as a down payment on another vehicle. The counseling and payment habits prepare clients for the responsibilities of vehicle ownership.

The goal is to serve 200 clients over the next three years with a fleet of 50 vehicles. The pilot test for the program began in July of last year and is on track for a 90 percent completion rate, meaning that nearly all clients will end their lease by purchasing a personal vehicle.