A new program recently launched in Warren County can help residents struggling to find a ride to work.
Wheels to Work, a program now available through the Missouri Career Center, helps people attain small, low-interest loans that would allow them to find a job or get to their current one.
Steve Etcher, executive director of the Boonslick Regional Planning Commission, said there is about $25,000 available to the program, with monies coming from the Booneslick Regional Planning Commission and the United Way.
“There are people who come into the career center who can’t get a job because they don’t have a ride to work,” Etcher said.
Those applying for a loan do not have to have perfect credit, Etcher said, but they do have to have a job or have one available to them if they were to have a car. The program is targeting people who do not have access to the type of capital it takes to buy a vehicle.
Missouri Career Center Functional Leader JoAnn Toerper said before people can be eligible for monies to purchase a car, they must attend a vehicle management course.
“They learn about car maintenance and repairs, getting insurance, licensing a vehicle, anything that pertains to owning a car,” she said.
Etcher said those who qualify for the program can borrow up to $5,000 with a three-year, fixed rate loan of no more than 5 percent interest.
Once qualified, the borrowers will be sent to a car lot in Lincoln County that is part of that county’s Righteous Rides program, an entity that gets donated vehicles that they rehab and loan out to missionaries.
“We partnered with Righteous Rides for this program,” he said. “That way, we know what we are getting.”
Toerper said anyone interested in applying for a loan through the program can contact the BRPC at 314-456-3473, or come into the Missouri Career Center at 111 Steinhagen, Warrenton.