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The Wheels to Work program delivered its first vehicle at the office of Righteous Rides in Moscow Mills. Richard Harris, of Warrenton, was the first applicant to complete the process and accepted the keys to his car from Shawn Ohlms, office manager of Righteous Rides.
Wheels to Work is administered by the Boonslick Regional Planning Commission using funds provided by the United Way of Greater St. Louis. Approved applicants are able to use their small, low-interest loans to select their cars from a number of dependable used vehicles provided by Righteous Rides, a non-for-profit ministry that provides international missionaries with transportation while on furlough.
The goal of the program is to ensure that low income unemployed and newly- employed residents have access to affordable, reliable transportation to seek and retain employment. “Wheels to Work offers an opportunity for people to find and retain employment by offering low cost loans for dependable used cars,” says Steve Etcher, executive director of Boonslick Regional Planning. “When a prospective employer knows that an applicant has reliable transportation it can increase his or her chance of being offered a job.”
Currently only residents of Montgomery, Lincoln, and Warren Counties are eligible to apply for the loan. “This low-interest loan provides me a way to get back and forth to work and get my life back on track,” says Harris. “I am surprised it is not offered in other areas of the region.”
Further information regarding the Wheels to Work program is available through the Boonslick Regional Planning Commission at (636) 456-3473 or through the Missouri Career Center at (636) 456-9467. The application form (http://boonslick.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Loan-Application.pdf) may be downloaded, completed, and returned to the Wheels to Work program in care of Boonslick Regional Planning, 111 Steinhagen, PO Box 429, Warrenton, Mo., 63383.