At Second Chances Garage, we seek to make a difference in our community by offering second chances for individuals and families on their journey to independent living by providing assistance with personal transportation needs. That being said, we know that transportation is just one piece of the puzzle needed on a journey to independent living, which is why we work with several nonprofit partner agencies in Frederick, Maryland. Not only do these nonprofit organizations help us qualify applicants for our Low-Cost Vehicle Program, but they also help our applicants with other financial needs. Below are some of the organizations that specifically provide financial resources and assistance to residents of Frederick County, Maryland.
- United Way of Frederick County
United Way of Frederick County has fought for the health, education, and financial stability of everyone in our community for over 85 years. Transportation is vital for all of these because it is necessary for people to be able to get to their medical appointments, educational resources, and jobs. Their program, called Pathway to Transportation, allows eligible participants to receive a car from Second Chances Garage’s Low-Cost Vehicle Program for only a portion of the total cost.
After participating in budget coaching and credit counseling, participants complete a pre-qualification form to apply for the Pathway to Transportation program. If they are approved, they will receive instructions to open a savings account with Woodsboro Bank. Normally, program car recipients at Second Chances Garage pay a program fee of $500 plus $280 for fees, tags, and registration; however, if participants save $400, the United Way Pathway to Transportation Program will match that amount for the remainder of each car’s cost. This allows those who do not necessarily have $780 to benefit from having transportation.
- Street Re-Entry Program of Maryland, Inc.
The Street Re-Entry Program is a program of Christian support that aims to foster effective reintegration for citizens released from prison into society. The variety of programs offered helps formerly incarcerated people get back on their feet in a variety of ways. Mentors refer clients to resources, as needed, which include addiction treatment, counseling, financial management (including budgeting and low-cost tax prep), job training, transitional housing, and vehicle acquisition and repair. This is where Second Chances Garage enters the equation. Not only is Second Chances Garage a place where those in need can receive vehicles, it is also a place that provides reduced-cost repairs to those receiving assistance or services from another agency (such as food stamps, housing/medical assistance, etc.).
- Housing Authority of the City of Frederick
The Housing Authority of the City of Frederick provides a voucher program to help individuals and families pay for rent in low-income apartments or houses. The mission of the Housing Authority is to engage with Frederick’s low and moderate-income residents by providing a healthy foundation for economic self-sufficiency through employment and educational support in safe, affordable housing.
Because it is necessary to earn money in order to be financially self-sufficient, the Housing Authority works to refer low-income clients to Second Chances Garage. Although public transportation is an option for some, routes and times don’t always mesh with job locations and schedules. Often, they want to leave their current situation but find that housing alone will not allow this possibility. They need housing and a vehicle so that they can get to their employment and take care of their families.
A vehicle represents independence and a mental, emotional, and physical shift in outlook. In the big picture, when individuals and families are not restricted by a lack of transportation, they have greater access to resources and have the capacity to help others. Additionally, employers benefit because employees are able to get to work.