For Army veteran Les Jones keeping his new job meant securing a reliable means transportation was a must.
“I didn’t have a lot of money, “he said. Jones was able to find a car he could afford through VET CAR – a Homes of Light program that provides as-sistance to veterans allowing them to purchase reasonably priced used vehicles. “They made me feel right at home,” said Jones, “it was surreal, they took me to the lot, I saw a nice car, gave them the money and drove off the lot the same day.”
VET CAR Director Corby Hannah said since the program’s inception around a year and a half ago VET CAR has provided 25 cars to low income veterans coming through either Homes of Light, VEO (Veterans Em-powerment Organization) or different programs in the city. The process is fairly simple said Hannah, VET CAR purchases the cars, makes repairs and typically sells them to veterans for somewhere between $2,200-$3,000. “We require $175 down and $175 a month – we ask primarily are you a veteran making at least $800 a month-we want them to be able to afford the car,” said Hannah.
Until now United Way has been the primary financial backer of VET CAR, and Hannah said he is seeking additional funding sources so they can maintain and expand the program. “United Way doesn’t have unlimited funds to support it,” he said. “I’ve got a waiting list of 60,” said Hannah. “I’ve already got more peoples than I can realistically serve in the next 1 ½ to two years. We’d love to serve them all if we could get the support to do it. We could benefit from donations of cars, services or just financial sponsorship.”
Homes of Light Executive Director Gil Reschenthaler said, “I think that folks and companies want to help, they just don’t know what we’re doing. $175 pays a vet’s first payment-gets them in a car – $10 with eight of your friends gets them half way there.”
Veterans who may qualify for a low cost vehicle and those who would like to support VET CAR should visit www.Vetcar.org or contact Corby Hannah at 404 333-4636.