Seneca One Stop
County Office Building,
Wheels for Work:
The Wheels for Work Program is designed to assist eligible families in obtaining a vehicle to accept, maintain, or upgrade employment. The program has been up and running in Seneca County since January 1, 2001. Eligible households are those who receive TANF, or who are at or below 200% of Federal Poverty guidelines and either have one or more children in the home, or are a verifiable non-custodial parent.
The program provides eligible candidates with a car loan through a local bank without discrimination toward past credit problems or traditional qualifying criteria. The Program Coordinator will work with eligible families to help determine an appropriate monthly payment level, based upon income and expense projections. Included in the program are limited funds to assist with car repairs and insurance start up costs. Participants will be educated regarding a variety of aspects, including: how to make a well informed purchase, terms and conditions of the bank loan, how credit works, finding affordable car insurance, an over view of routine car maintenance, and how to budget to maximize their resources. Participants will be required to complete a 6-hour Defensive Driving course, paid for by the program; this will result in a 10% insurance discount for 3 years.
Case management will be ongoing for the term of the loan to help insure the success of the individual. Monthly contact will address issues of maintaining timely loan payments, effective budgeting skills, and monitoring of employment status, and progressive increases in the client's level of self-sufficiency.
The Wheels for Work Program also can offer assistance for driver education lessons for eligible individuals to acquire their driver's license. These individuals may then proceed through the program to later acquire a vehicle.
Efforts to incorporate other programs will be made to enhance the participant's ability to become more self-sufficient. The Wheels for Work Program will operate in harmony with existing resources in the Division of Human Services, including, but not limited to The Department of Workforce Development. This office is available to offer opportunities including educational programs, such as GED classes, Vocational Training courses, Job Search and Resume assistance, as well as possible On the Job Training, (OJT). As a One-Stop Career Center, this office has access to other community agency partners to which referrals and linkages can easily be made.