Training Formerly Unhoused Individuals as CDL Drivers

Through the Developing Responsible Individuals with Valuable Education (DRIVE) Program, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) partnered with the Mississippi Home Corporation (MHC) to provide  CDL driver training and employment for unhoused people. The success of the program has been life changing for Mississippians experiencing homelessness, while helping transit providers solve critical driver shortages.

Partnership Highlights

Mississippi DOT: 1) Participants are trained to get their CDL through the Driver Improvement Agency, a longtime partner of MDOT. 2) MDOT  assists with DRIVE participants’ transportation needs by liaising with local transit agencies. 3) MDOT refers participants that have received their CDL to transit agencies for hiring.

Mississippi Housing Corp.: Administers the Emergency Solution Grant (ESG) funds, provided through the U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development, to cover the costs of employment training activities. ESG-eligible activities include one-time rent and/or utility arrears, relocation and stabilization, on-going monthly payments, and other eligible activities identified in the Emergency Shelter Grant program.

Grace House Ministries and City of Jackson Homeless Program: 1) Identifies good candidates for the program.  2) Outreach Specialists place candidates in hotels while working with them to identify long-term housing and start their CDL training program. “In the homeless services community, you see the same people coming back over and over again. With this type of training, we’re praying, that number drops dramatically.

Other partners: Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army

Learn more

Program contacts: Tamara Stewart, Mississippi Housing Corp., tamara.stewart@mshc.com; Shirley Wilson, Director of the Public Transit Division of Mississippi DOT, swilson@mdot.ms.gov

Read Mobility Lines blog post: Mississippi Partnership Provides CDL Training for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness

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Have more mobility news that we should be reading and sharing? Let us know! Reach out to Sage Kashner (kashner@ctaa.org).

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