Salvation Army promotes Ways to Work program

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The Salvation Army of Chicago partnered with Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois in late September to launch Ways to Work, a program that offers low-interest loans to low-income working parents with bad credit. The program, which is funded primarily by federal, state and local government and has loaned more than $58 million to more than 27,000 families since its beginning, enables struggling parents to buy or repair used cars.

The goal of the program is to help improve borrowers’ credit scores as well as to encourage self-sufficiency and meaningful employment. The primary recipients of the program are single mothers who struggle to meet the demands of both work and family life.

The program also includes financial education designed to encourage better borrowing habits, giving recipients the right understanding of credit moving forward. The Salvation Army was selected to help oversee the program and to administer the services in Chicago.

“With as many as one in six Americans living in poverty, we need to do everything we can to help parents hold down their jobs and provide a stable home for their families, and that often starts with reliable transportation,” said Lt. Col. Ralph Bukiewicz, commander of the Army’s Metropolitan Division. “This program also offers an alternative to predatory lenders who charge exorbitantly high interest rates that only push families further into debt.”

As the recession continues to impact families across the nation, The Salvation Army has launched several programs to teach individuals how to manage personal and family finances. By offering classes on financial literacy, the credit system and money management, The Salvation Army’s “Teach a Man to Fish” initiative has helped many people reduce their dependency on social service programs.


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