A lack of affordable, dependable transportation is often the primary barrier to a person maintaining employment, accessing essential community services, and reaching overall well-being. Way to Go was founded to provide a mechanism to get good, used vehicles donated to persons trying to become more self-sufficient. Way to Go has expanded service offerings to clients to also include financial assistance with urgent vehicle repairs, insurance payments, DMV and local decal vehicle fees, monthly payments, gasoline vouchers, or other urgent problems that may interrupt employment if not addressed.
The overall goal at Way to Go is to help ensure that low-income individuals will have safe, dependable, legal, and affordable transportation to get to work and transport their family to other destinations that are necessary for a decent quality of life. Working families, and those that want to be working and self-sufficient, understand the role a reliable car can play in their lives and how it will allow them to improve their situation.
The families we serve are most often single parent households with incomes below the federal poverty level. For 2016, of the 214 families served, there were 64% (or 138 families) with incomes less than 100% of the poverty level and a staggering 93% (or 214 families) whose family incomes totaled less than 150% of the federal poverty level. They are extremely vulnerable and subjected daily to the difficult realities faced by poor people in our community. They often work two or more part-time jobs, yet have no benefits. They rarely know their work schedules more than a few days ahead of time and must struggle to make child care fit into whatever hours their employers have decided they want them. They are also frequent visitors to the “payday” and “car title” predatory lenders and often end up in legal and financial “black holes” which causes them even more financial hardship. Way to Go is recognized as a highly effective “intervention” in addressing the multiple problems they must address. If we can keep them mobile, they are much better prepared to deal with their other difficulties.