ChangingGears Continues to Bridge the Gap
by CityLink | November 15, 2019
ChangingGears was built around the understanding that opportunity doesn’t count unless you’re able to show up for it; which is why car ownership is exceptionally empowering.
In short, without a car, a job opportunity off the bus line is not really an opportunity.
In response, ChangingGears launched their car Purchase Program in 2013, making private transportation affordable by selling restored cars at half the price through a no-interest loan.
Since then, they have sold 151 cars to individuals through their Purchase Program, opening up opportunities and freedom with life-altering potential.
The Bridge Program
In pursuit of their mission to “remove transportation barriers for people who are working their way out of poverty,” ChangingGears expanded its services to address a long-standing dilemma: You need the car to get the job. You need the job to get the car. The proverbial chicken or egg, if you will.
In response, the Bridge Program was designed for people who need a car to get a job but can’t afford to buy one yet.
How it Works
The Bridge Program is essentially a nine-month lease with affordable monthly payments and zero upfront cost.
During the program, all maintenance repairs are covered as part of this monthly payment. In addition, throughout the nine months, clients work with their financial coach to save for a down-payment for a permanent transportation solution.
At the end of the 9 months, clients can either return the car and receive 25% of their payments back to put towards a permanent vehicle, or pay the vehicle off with a final lump-sum payment.
How it’s Going
While the Bridge Program is still in its pilot phase, so far things are going very well. Since its launch in July 2019, five newly employed CityLink clients have obtained a car through the program, all of whom are on schedule with their payments.
Cornerstone Construction Training graduate and Bridge Program participant, Johnny, shared, “Having a car has been one of the biggest blessings. It gives me a bigger window and bigger opportunities so I can be able to move and prosper.”
In addition, two clients have utilized the maintenance and repairs that are included with the monthly payments. Doing so has saved them over $500 in repair costs.
“We are having some great early successes, but also some good learning experiences to make future improvements,” shared ChangingGears founder, Joel Bokelman.
3 Ways You Can Help ChangingGears
ChangingGears depends on the support and generosity of this incredible community to continue their service to those working their way out of poverty. Here are three ways you can support them in this mission.
1) Donate your vehicle.
ChangingGears’ work is fueled by car donations. They will accept and pick up a vehicle in any and every condition, free of charge. Your vehicle donation is tax-deductible.
ChangingGears has made its donation process completely pain-free! Check out the simple steps here: How to Donate
2) Race in or attend ChangingGears Grand Prix event in March 2020.
The ChangingGears Grand Prix is a fundraising event that is a blast for participants and spectators. The main event is a pedal kart, relay race tournament where four-person teams go head-to-head around an indoor track with a few fun obstacles along the way.
In addition to the race, and all included with the ticket price, there will be dinner, drinks, games, and plenty of excitement for the crowd.
Learn more: ChangingGears Grand Prix
3) Spread the Word
Help your friends know of the easiest way they can get a car no longer needed off their hards by telling them about ChangingGears.