NWC, Mizzou, and RoadWorthy Team Up to Give a Vehicle to a Struggling Single Mom

NWC, Mizzou, and RoadWorthy Team Up to Give a Vehicle to a Struggling Single Mom

This month’s highlighted story is that of Sarah – a brave single mother of four who had faced a long uphill journey out of an abusive marriage, addiction and mental health struggles. When we met Sarah this summer, she was in the final stages of her effort to achieve reunification with one of her sons. NWC was able to come alongside Sarah and lend a helping hand by teaming up with RoadWorthy (roadworthyusa.org)  to provide her a reliable vehicle.

This is Sarah’s story:

“…I’ve had the worst luck with vehicles most of my life. The first car I ever purchased ran one time and then never again. When I bought my next vehicle, I was living in an abused women’s shelter with my three boys. That car didn’t last three months before it also needed a motor…”

Sarah’s next vehicle – purchased from a family she cleaned houses for, after painstakingly saving up for months – ended up being towed away in a misunderstanding with her landlord. Unable to afford the retrieval fee, Sarah was left without a vehicle once again.  A family member gave her a used van, but the van was old and upkeep expenses were beyond her means. Within four years, that vehicle broke down and couldn’t be repaired.

 

Transportation and the Cycle of Poverty

 Sarah’s long-term struggle to find and keep reliable transportation is not unusual.  Access to reliable transportation is one of the three major factors that can determine whether a vulnerable family will be able to break the cycle of poverty. Single mothers who are living on the edge of poverty may be able to scrape together the resources to find a vehicle…but upkeep and maintenance, combined with vehicle age/high mileage, often means these vehicles will have a short life span and may end up draining what little money is available.

This is exactly what happened to Sarah:

“…I was putting myself through college trying to raise my four boys and no vehicle. I was able to use loan money from school, tax return money, and the help of my oldest twins who were working jobs at the time, to scrape together enough money to buy a Jeep. That Jeep lasted us about five years until things just started to stop working…”

Sarah scraped together the funds to replace one engine part after another – even putting in a lot of the labor herself. Eventually, though, it became clear that the Jeep needed a whole new engine…and there was no way Sarah could afford that. Once again, Sarah was without a vehicle.

Despite the struggle, Sarah remained focused on providing for her boys and continuing her recovery from addiction:

“…I was completely humbled in learning how to ask others for rides to places like a doctor’s appointment, my lawyer’s office, to court, the grocery store and very importantly my 12-step meetings. I learned to walk and ride my bike to many places, often feeling unsafe…”

 

NWC and RoadWorthy Lend a Helping Hand

After her older boys left home, Sarah’s youngest son was placed into foster care so that Sarah could pursue help overcoming some mental health challenges. Sarah’s faith in God remained an anchor, though, and she was able to complete over 275 hours of outpatient mental health treatment, attend a 12-step program for 20 months (and has now become a sponsor for four other women), and attend twice weekly therapy…all while going to school and working as a cashier at a store near her house.

But with an income of only $1000/month, Sarah could still not afford a car.  She knew that this could jeopardize her reunification timeline, but without a car she couldn’t get a job that paid any better. Sarah was just…stuck.

In June 2021, through CarePortal, the Mizzou Football Program generously donated $1,000 toward a new vehicle for Sarah. As Mizzou’s KC-area “Connecting Church,” NWC partnered with Roadworthy (roadworthyusa.org) to come up with the remaining funds to purchase her a $3,000 2014 Chevy Cruze.  Sarah and her son were reunited recently, and Sarah is looking ahead now with renewed hope and optimism:

“…I am grateful for the blessing of this vehicle and I’m excited about the freedom my son and I will have moving forward.

Thank you to everyone who helped bring this car to my family!

…God bless!”

How You Can Help

  • SUPPORT a family in needor help us grow by making a financial gift at tinyurl.com/nwcdonate
  • JOIN our team to stay updated about families in crisis that you can help: tinyurl.com/nwcvolunteer
  • PRAY for our engagement with families and email. Sign up for our prayer list at care@newlifekc.org
  • FOR MORE STORIES, visit tinyurl.com/nwcstories

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Neighbors Who Care (NWC) is New Life CityChurch’s “outside the walls” ministry. Our mission is to see the blighted urban communities of Kansas City transformed into communities where families will flourish, schools will achieve, people will be safe, churches will honor God and fathers will stand tall as men of integrity.  NWC works toward this goal through partnerships with CarePortal, local organizations, and community members with a common goal.

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