Car is Catalyst to Better Job

Gerald’s Story

Fifteen hours. That’s the amount of additional free time Gerald now has each week because, “I got the car I wanted,” he says with a huge smile on his face.

Gerald, an Army veteran, was working full time until a medical condition forced him into disability status. As a new medication improved his health, he worked part time, then his van broke down. He had to rely on family members loaning him their cars to get to work and he also used public transit – although it took two buses to get to and from his job. He worked a night shift ending at 10:00 p.m. “It took me until midnight to get home riding two buses with a wait in between,” he explains. “I remember sitting at bus stops in cold, snow and slush. The stories I can tell about what I saw waiting at those bus stops late at night!”

Then a co-worker told Gerald about CityLink and ChangingGears which requires clients to earn at least $1,000 a month before getting approved for a car purchase. “It took seven months for me to save for the down payment, but I believe you have to be patient and work to get the things you want in life,” he says. He enjoyed putting in his sweat equity in the ChangingGears shop and he saw several cars that were ready for clients. “There was a Toyota Highlander I really liked but I thought it was supposed to go to someone else. I believe God chose that car for me because it worked out that I got it and it’s excellent.”

While waiting for his car, Gerald had been applying for other jobs. One offered a swing shift from 4:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. “That’s a shift many people don’t want but it pays more per hour. However, there were no buses on my route running at 1:00 a.m.,” he explains. “Then the car became available at the same time as the job.”

Now Gerald estimates he has 15 extra hours a week he’s no longer spending waiting for and riding on buses. “I’m getting more sleep,” he says, and he’s sharing his good fortune. “I’m driving a co-worker home too. It feels good to help someone else.”

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