The Community Foundation of the Ozarks announced a fund Wednesday to support workers and job seekers who face transportation barriers that affect their ability to get hired or maintain current jobs. The “Let’s Get to Work Fund” will open with a $375,000 commitment from the CFO, donors David and Stacey O’Reilly, and the O’Reilly Charity Golf Classic Fund with another $25,000 in anticipated commitments.
The fund will provide support for people who have jobs or are looking for one through two avenues:
- Nonprofits that work with clients who identify transportation issues as impeding their ability to get and keep jobs can access funds through the CFO’s grant application process at cfozarks.org/applyforgrants;
- Businesses also will be able to access funding to support workers facing transportation challenges through a partnership with United Way of the Ozarks and the Springfield Business Development Corporation, a nonprofit subsidiary of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce;
- Residential eligibility for this funding will cover the 14-county area of southwest Missouri where the service areas of the CFO and United Way of the Ozarks overlap: Barry, Christian, Dallas, Douglas, Greene, Hickory, Laclede, Lawrence, Polk, Stone, Taney, Texas, Webster and Wright counties.
Funds can be used for needs such as car repairs, new tires, gasoline cards, licensing fees or taxes, transportation services such as bus passes, ride-sharing services, taxis, purchase or repair of bikes/e-bikes, or vehicle down payments.