For many young people we support, their car is a lifeline. And now there is a fund to ensure this lifeline is always available to keep moving down the road to better days. (Make a donation.)
“A car is often essential for a young person who is homeless to achieve goals and work toward permanent housing,” explained HOPE 4 Youth Director of Programs Mark McNamer. “It’s connected to so many facets of their plan.”
A car is a way to find and maintain employment, finishing a degree or certificate program, or access basic-needs services like the ones at the HOPE 4 Youth Drop-In Center. It can even end up being where a young person sleeps when there is no other option. So when a young person experiencing homelessness no longer has a car, it can be disastrous.
“The young people we serve don’t have a lot of backup transportation options,” said HOPE 4 Youth Director of Advancement Julie Orlando. “When they end up stalled on the side of the road, they’re stuck in more ways than one.”
Occasionally, companies offer a break to a young person who is homeless, like on March 2, when First Choice Towing helped a stranded driver with a free tow. But usually, a stalled vehicle means unplanned expenses.
That’s why HOPE 4 Youth has created a Roadside Assistance Fund to support these young drivers.
The fund will be used to cover emergency tows and unexpected repairs that often exceed a young person’s budget. It will also be used when a driver needs financial support with license-related expenses like plates and tabs. The goal is to keep car trouble from ruining hard work and a good plan to return to stable housing.
“If any one of us came across one of these young people standing next to a stalled car, we’d help,” said McNamer. “This fund is an insurance policy of sorts to make sure there’s support for youth in need, to help them to keep moving forward even when the unexpected happens.”