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NHCO’s Transportation Assistance program expands to serve more people in need

North Hills Community Outreach has expanded its transportation and car donation program.  The program, formerly called Community Auto, is now the Transportation Assistance program. 

Sharon Wolf, NHCO’s executive director, said, “The goal of our expanded Transportation Assistance program is to help even more struggling families meet their transportation needs.  NHCO has accepted vehicles since 2005, but many people need alternative transportation assistance. The name change reflects our more inclusive services.”

The Transportation Assistance program, like all other NHCO programs, is free for those who qualify.  Applicants must be low-income residents of northern Allegheny County outside of the city of Pittsburgh. When funds allow and if applicants qualify, NHCO’s Transportation Assistance program now can provide:

  • transportation costs such as gas cards, CONNECT cards and ride share
  • vehicle repairs
  • car seats and AAA memberships
  • limited matching funds to purchase a vehicle to get to work

The nonprofit still accepts vehicle donations of any kind, in any condition, now through a third-party nonprofit called VehiclesforCharity.org, on which North Hills Community Outreach has a donation page. Vehicles for Charity, a nonprofit, sells the vehicles at auction to the highest bidder. NHCO receives 80% of the proceeds (after fees), all of which are allocated to help qualifying people meet and overcome transportation challenges. The remaining funds go to Vehicles for Charity, which in turn helps other nonprofits.

Vehicle donations may come from anywhere in the country. The nonprofit accepts unwanted cars, fleet cars, trucks, vans, recreational vehicles (RVs), motorcycles, dirt bikes, tractors, boats and trailers for sale at auction.  Vehicle donors are eligible for a tax deduction. 

“NHCO has a long history in the community of addressing unmet needs, and one such need is transportation,” Mrs. Wolf said. “Transportation is always within the top three reasons people report they come to NHCO help. Many low-income people in suburban communities lack affordable or reliable transportation, which affects every aspect of their lives. This program will help people regain their self-sufficiency.”

Lack of reliable, affordable transportation limits access to:

  • certain jobs, critical appointments and job interviews
  • child care, medical appointments and healthy food options
  • children’s school activities, worship or other community involvement
  • post-secondary education

To donate a car to NHCO through Vehicles for Charity, go to vehiclesforcharity.org/Donate/NHCO.html or call 1-866-628-2277. More details can be found at nhco.org, or by calling 412-487-6316 option 1 extension 3131 with questions about donating vehicles or 412-408-3830 extension 3225 with questions about receiving transportation assistance.

North Hills Community Outreach helps people in crisis, hardship and poverty in northern Allegheny County outside of the city of Pittsburgh. All of its services are free. Last fiscal year, 3,692 families were helped through 20 programs, including food pantries, seasonal sharing projects, utility assistance, education assistance, employment help, tax prep, transportation assistance, long-term case management, legal consultation, budgeting skills, volunteer caregiving for seniors, shuttle services for seniors, and more.

 

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