Last year, the United Way of Columbia and Montour County, in partnership with Community Strategies Group and First Columbia Bank & Trust, initiated a revolving car loan program to assist individuals and families in need of transportation to help in gaining and/or keeping employment. Access (or lack thereof) to transportation in one of the top roadblocks to individuals and families gaining and keeping employment so that they can improve their lives and this program, which was started in 2017, is aiming to change that for qualified people in Columbia and Montour counties.
There are currently openings for qualified individuals and families in both the Berwick and Danville areas, and because the program is a revolving loan, there will also soon be openings for people in Bloomsburg. In the one-and-a-half years since the program began, it has run with a 100% success rate.
The program is for an individual or family that is currently unemployed or underemployed but could greatly increase their earnings if they had access to reliable transportation. Ideally, employment or an opportunity for greater employment will have been identified for the individual or family. Nonprofits, charities and other human services organizations are able to nominate a client who they believe is ready to make positive changes in their life and with transportation, will have the ability to pay back the auto loan and car insurance over time, along with other car maintenance expenses. Other eligibility requirement are outlined with the program application.
Read more about how this program made a positive change for a local family in this Daily Item article from earlier this year.
For more information or for questions about this program, please contact Adrienne Mael at the United Way of Columbia and Montour County by email or at 570-784-3134, or Beth Burke at Community Strategies Group by email or at 570-784-9373, ext. 113.