AccessPoint and our leadership has always had a close relationship with our friends, Vehicles for Change. This holiday season they are continuing their powerful work, featured by the Detroit Free Press who covered a story about 3 Detroit families.
By: Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press
Three single moms with children in desperate need of transportation will have to wait just one extra day for their Christmas gift this year.
Vehicles for Change, a nonprofit organization, said it has three vehicles — a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer, a 2007 Chevrolet Malibu and a 2007 Nissan Altima — to give each of them on Wednesday.
“There are more than 80,000 families in the state of Michigan without access to transportation,” said Executive Director Phaedra Wainaina. “What Vehicles for Change does is give them the opportunity to pursue more gainful employment and get their kids into better school districts.”
In addition, the group also offers training to people seeking to become mechanics.
An increasing number of groups, including public agencies and private enterprises, are realizing that transportation and poverty are linked, and focusing on mobility can create more economic equality.
In addition to Vehicles for Change, Triumph Church, which has five campuses across metro Detroit, collected donations to buy five used cars, which it gave away along with other gifts, on Sunday.
“The greatest joy of Christmas is in giving,” said the Rev. Solomon Kinloch Jr., senior pastor. “We’re blessed to be able to continue a legacy of giving this holiday season as we help thousands of children and families living in less fortunate situations.”
Vehicles for Change was founded in Baltimore in 1999. The group accepts donated cars, fixes them up and then gives them away. To qualify for a vehicle, recipients must have a full-time job or job offer.
The organization gave away its first cars in Detroit in 2015.
That year, Arthur Dye, a then 49-year-old disabled veteran, received the key to a used Jeep Grand Cherokee. He had been homeless, then got a job as a cook, but was waking up at 2:30 a.m. to take the bus so he could get to work at 6 a.m.
So far, in Detroit, the organization has averaged giving away about 25 vehicles a year.