Across the country more than 120 nonprofit organizations work to ensure that low wage working families are able to get a car in order to find and keep a job. These programs promote economic well being and job security by distributing cars directly to families, making low-interest loans for car purchases, and facilitating matched savings for car down payments and purchases. We provide a list of these programs for those in need of a car and for those who wish to donate a car.
Access to a car is an important component of an effective transportation strategy to help build healthy communities and strong economies. Employers, welfare administrators, and the unemployed have long asserted that transportation barriers are a primary obstacle to employment and success once on the job. Today, two-thirds of residents in metropolitan areas live in the suburbs, and two-thirds of new jobs are located there as well. It’s therefore no surprise that 88 percent of workers drive to their jobs. Left behind are low-income central-city residents without cars, who have become increasingly isolated from the American economy, and rural residents who have few public transportation options. As a number of scholars have documented, the steady movement of jobs out of cities and into the suburbs has helped create and sustain the concentrated poverty in America’s urban areas. Because new jobs tend to be located in ever-expanding suburbs poorly served by mass transit, central-city and rural residents find themselves living further and further away from economic opportunities. (Adaptation from Auto-Mobility, by Margy Waller of Inclusion & The Mobility Agenda)