LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The prospect of affordable transportation makes Goodwill's "Cars to Work" a powerful program for those trying to get their lives back on track.

What You Need To Know

  • Goodwill works with all income levels to help provide cars through the Cars to Work program

  • Participants get to choose the car that best fits their lifestyle 

  • Most participants improve their credit score after going through the coursework

  • Goodwill walks you through the process to make sure you are successful

The program enables Kentuckians to acquire cars and helps them learn about building a favorable credit record.

Spectrum News 1 spoke to one participant, who says the program has been life-changing.

Michelle Buford smiled as she unpacked her white Nissan, but she was honest about her past stay in prison.

"I was released on July 20th of last year," she said.

Not wanting to waste time, she applied to work at Goodwill after being released and soon found out about the organization's Cars to Work program through her career coach.

"You know, people feel like they have no hope. They feel like, how can I rebuild my life from nothing, and you can," Buford said.

And in Buford's case, it meant getting in touch with program manager Katie Ramser, who walked her through the process, helping her find a car she wanted and could afford, along with insurance.

"And our other focus besides transportation is credit building. As Michelle said, we have a class that we have everyone take, and they also will get a financial coach for six months to dig in and really work on savings and credit building," Ramer said.

And as for Buford, she is experiencing a peace of mind she hasn't felt in a long time: freedom mixed with independence.

"I don't have to ask for rides to appointments and things like that, which I didn't mind humbling myself to do that, but now I can get in my car and turn the ignition, and I can go," Buford said. "It's a beautiful feeling"

Goodwill does not consider current credit score when reviewing applicants for the program.