For individuals rebuilding lives from addiction, prison or poverty, two of the most important ingredients to future career success in the Denver metro area are qualifying for a driver’s license and purchasing a car for transportation. This reality provides the reason behind the creation of the Good Neighbor Garage in 2004.
In communities like Denver where public transportation does not adequately serve outlying areas that provide high-quality entry-level job opportunities in construction, a car means the difference between a well-paying job or a lower-quality day labor position. Traveling by bus or light rail just doesn’t accommodate an industry where job locations frequently change and start-times are often very early. And for individuals with children, their attempts to juggle child-care, schooling, and traveling to a job site without a vehicle becomes nearly impossible.
Marc Veldhuizen, in partnership with Belay Enterprises, started The Good Neighbor Garage as an innovative faith venture that receives donated cars from the public. These vehicles are screened for quality. Those that will provide dependable transportation for at least a year are repaired and placed for a small fee with qualifying individuals needing a car in order to get to work. Other cars that do not fit program needs are auctioned or sold to the public to support car placement program expenses.
As part of Belay Enterprises’ mission of incubating faith ventures into independent ventures, the Good Neighbor Garage was spun off into its own nonprofit organization two years ago.
Check out the great story about Good Neighbor Garage on CBS4 Denver: