Innovative Programs

Vehicles for Change

Mission/Goal of Program

Vehicles for Change Inc. (VFC) empowers families with financial challenges to achieve economic and personal independence through car ownership and technical training. In 1999, Vehicles for Change opened outside of Baltimore, Maryland. After building its program in the Maryland-Virginia-Washington D.C. region, VFC began work to replicate those programs nationally, aiming to bring independent transportation and training in the automotive field to as many people as possible. VFC opened its second location in Detroit, Michigan in 2015.

Programs/Services Offered

The car ownership program currently awards cars to families in Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Families are referred to VFC by their partner agencies, which include TANF agencies, domestic violence shelters, or other workforce training programs. Families are provided with a 12-month loan to purchase vehicles on their own for around $85/ month, and can bring the vehicle to VFC centers for repair, as needed. VFC covers the repair at their cost, at a significant discount.

The program did expand to include: 

  • VFC Training Center

In September 2013, VFC launched the Center for Automotive Careers in Baltimore. Later renamed the Full Circle Auto Repair and Training Center, the center has 2 training programs, a program that trains automotive detailers and a prison reentry program that trains automotive technicians. Trainees are paid a stipend of $340/week. 

  • The VFC Advantage

As part of the Full Circle Auto Repair & Training Center, VFC opened the center to serve the public in June 2015. The garage provides basic auto repair, brakes, tune ups, tires, and oil changes and is open to the local residents, former VFC customers and recipients.

Start Date
Monday, February 1, 1999
Type of Agency/Organization
Community-Based Organization
District of Columbia
Geographic Reach
Clientele/Population Served
Low-income families, many of whom are receiving TANF benefits; ex-offenders
Access and Availability
Car Purchase Programs
Transportation Subsidies /Vouchers