Over 150 charities, non profit agencies, and government organizations have joined together to form Opportunity Cars. The charity program helps people in need by offering free or discounted cars, low interest loans so people can buy a car, or they help people save for a car by providing matching grants.
The primary goal of Opportunity Cars is to increase the level of private automobile ownership for low income, working families. The automobiles provided are meant to help people find and keep quality jobs, so the car needs to be used for work related activities. These free and discounted car programs promote both job security and economic well being by distributing the cars directly to families, providing very low-interest loans that are to be used for car purchases, and they will also facilitate matched savings that are to be used for car down payments and purchases of automobiles.
These programs were created in the mid 1990s. While they do use a number of different approaches for increasing the level of car ownership, the programs will also generally help lower wage families and individuals acquire reliable used vehicles, such as cars, trucks, and vans. The programs want to reduce transportation-related barriers to someone so they can find a job or keep the work they currently have, and they also want to improve overall mobility for low income families. Other organizations exist that provide free gasoline.
There are a few different ways that the car ownership programs operate across the country. Typically they use one of the following three approaches in try to help people obtain transportation.
As noted above, each charity, non-profit program and organization that is part of Opportunity Cars may employ slightly different strategies to meet the goal of car ownership, but the bottom line is that each organization is focused on the goal of helping to increase car ownership, and really help people get and keep a job.
In addition to the free or discounted cars and loans that are provided, these assistance programs may also provide other valuable services that lead to successful car ownership. For example, a person in the program can get assistance with car repairs and insurance, financial literacy training, and also referrals to comprehensive service providers, as well as credit counseling and help with debts and loans.
To apply for, get more information or find a low cost or free car, visit www.opportunitycars.com to locate an agency near you. Or contact local non-profits and community action agencies in your county to ask about programs that may be able to provide transportation, or even car repairs.
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