Vehicles for Change is making a difference, and it all begins with a vehicle! Our organization exists to address two national challenges: lack of affordable transportation, and lack of opportunity for formerly incarcerated individuals re-entering society.
Transportation presents a critical (and under-reported) challenge to low-income workers trying not only to find jobs, but manage daily life, without a car. Lack of transportation means individuals can’t access employment, healthcare, child care, social and religious events, and more. A new study in the Journal of Planning Education and Research shows that, over the past 50 years, owning a car has been among the most powerful economic advantages a U.S. family can have.
In a large, continuing study of upward mobility based at Harvard, commuting time has emerged as the single strongest factor in the odds of escaping poverty. The longer an average commute in a given county, the worse the chances of low-income families there moving up the ladder. Did you know the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas rank in the top eight longest average commutes in the United States? And that's WITH a vehicle. The typical metropolitan household without a vehicle can reach only reach approximately 40% of metro-wide jobs via transit within 90 minutes.
A 2018 Bureau of Justice study found out of 401,288 individuals released from prison in 30 states, more than 83% were re-arrested an average of six times during the study period. That rate in Maryland is roughly 40%, at an average cost of $46,000 per person annually according to The Baltimore Sun. In Michigan, the average incarceration cost per individual is $36,106 as of 2017. And as reported by Detroit Free Press, prison population costs continue to rise.
Our Full Circle Training Program trains returning citizens to become skilled auto mechanics and ensures reentry is a time of SUCCESS, empowerment and support. Only 1% of trainees have returned to prison - the equivalent of one individual; the national rate of recidivism is 83%. Through Full Circle Auto Repair & Training Center, we are virtually eliminating recidivism.