The Goodwill Cars to Work program has partnered with the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services and Kentucky Resource for Independent Success and Empowerment (KY RISE) to help fund transportation for current or former foster youth.

According to Cars to Work Program Manager Katie Ramser, foster children often have a harder time obtaining auto loans. Ramser would know, as she has spent several years working with foster youth.

The Cars to Work program is open to all interested participants, but those ages 18-26 who are current or former foster care are now eligible for a $4,000 grant. The program promotes self-sufficiency by requiring participants to save for a down payment and learn useful tips for paying off loans.

To this end, Apprisen, a nonprofit offering financial resources to those in need, provides each participant with a financial foundations class, credit health review and six months of financial coaching.

For participants, Goodwill also helps with a down payment match of $500 (and $1,000 for Goodwill employees) and offers a fixed 5% interest rate regardless of credit score or history. If a participant pays their loan in full, with no late payments, they’ll get an interest reimbursement. There’s also a free credit health review and six months of financial coaching to help them establish or build credit.

To get individuals in cars, Goodwill has partnered with Oxmoor Auto Group. The local, full-service car dealership helps match participants with vehicles that meet their needs.

On the finance side, Goodwill enlisted Park Community Credit Union to administer loans and provide education on the lending process for participants.

To learn more about the Cars to Work grant for current or former foster youth, watch this recent Spectrum News 1 segment featuring Ramser and Marina Gibson, a participant from Bowling Green:

Applications for the grant are open until September 30 and are available online here. If you are a current or former foster youth, visit this page via KY RISE to learn more.