Originally known as PEACH-On-Wheels, this program began in 1992 with funding from the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA). The PEACH Program (Positive Employment and Community Help) was Georgia’s job training and educational program for welfare recipients. Lack of transportation in our rural areas has been cited as the number one barrier to gaining employment.
The original purpose of PEACH-On-Wheels was to provide private vehicles to rural welfare recipients in critical need of transportation to take children to child care, attend educational/job training programs, and ultimately find and keep a job.
The program operates by acquiring reliable, previously owned vehicles. These vehicles are then purchased by qualified participants. A repayment plan is set up with no down payment, no interest and low monthly payments. The program has evolved over the years to reflect the changes in the Welfare program. As emphasis shifted from education to employment, the name was changed from PEACH-On-Wheels to Wheels-To-Work.
The nature of this program allows the participants to ease into the responsibility of being a car owner without it becoming a financial burden. The participant is responsible for the insurance, maintenance and upkeep of the vehicle. As they become employed and establish a work history, the car payments are adjusted accordingly. The repayment stream is used to purchase more cars to assist more individuals. Since September 2000, the Pine Country RC&D Council has placed 348 throughout a nineteen county area.