Wheels for Work

Presently, our Wheels to Work program has no funding.  We hope to reinstate this program in the future. 

Wheels for Work is an automobile loan and repair program run by Tioga County Department of Social Services in conjunction with Catholic Charities Tioga Outreach Center.

The purpose of Wheels for Work is to provide a loan for the purpose of a vehicle so that people can achieve self-sufficiency through either new employment or increase long-term employment. Public transportation cannot meet the needs of many workers in Tioga County, especially 2nd and 3rd shift workers.

Ensuring that workers can get to work on time, drop their children at day care and meet their family's needs, Wheels for Work will help those who are struggling to achieve long-term employment success. This program has enabled us to serve many working families, either by helping them obtain vehicles for safe and reliable transportation or by offering assistance with car insurance and/or car repairs.

Who can participate?
Any adult with a dependent child who needs transportation or repairs to their current vehicle to continue their employment may apply at Tioga County Department of Social Service. There are certain requirements that need to be met to be eligible.

What are the requirements?

  • Client must be TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), age 21 or older and participated in an Employment Center program within the last six months.
  • Must be employed or have a verifiable job offer of at least 25 hours a week.
  • Have sufficient income to make monthly payments (usually two times the loan payment).
  • Must be a Tioga County resident.
  • Does not own a vehicle or their vehicle does not run.
  • Has not previously received Wheels for Work funds for a vehicle.
  • Has a valid New York driver's license that is free of DUI or DWI convictions or vehicular felonies.

How does the Wheels for Work Program function?
Wheels for Work implements its program through a network of agencies and organizations that include local banking/lending institutions, car dealerships, licensed automobile repair shops, insurance providers and driver education sites.

Autombile insurance is required. Comp and collision with a $500.00 deductible is mandatory, in addition to at least minimum liability. The program can provide up to $500.00 for a down payment. Insurance is not considered a loan; thus repayment would not be required.

Wheels for Work provides emergency automobile repairs to TANF eligibles who own a vehicle and cannot afford necessary repairs to keep it operable.

The Wheels for Work program will provide TANF eligible recipients with a low-interest loan up to $3,985.00 (usually at 6%) without the need for a down payment to purchase an automobile. Payments range from $94.00 to $100.00 based on 36 months of payment. Credit history will be relaxed for the purpose of this loan program.

Individuals must repay the loan as normally expected. Default loans will be handled like any other loan including repossession of the vehicle and a negative impact on the individual's credit rating, DSS will act as lien holder during the loan period on automobiles purchased through this program.

Under this part of the program, repairs cannot exceed $750.00, it is not a loan so repay would not be required. Eligibility requirements are the same as the loan portion of the program.

Contact us for more information about this program.