Updated: Aug 3
Desmond Frazier walked through Oliver Gospel's door less than a year ago. What prompted him to come here?
Desmond had struggled with alcoholism for some time. He watched it affect his career, his relationships, and his life. He knew that he didn't want to keep going down this path and risk losing everything. “It was time for a change,” he confessed.
In 5 months, Desmond had moved through our Recovery program and entered the Career phase, where he began a job for a roofing company. This job requires early hours that don't align with the public bus schedule in Columbia. Without a car, he didn't have an affordable way to get to his new job on time.
Through a new feature in our programming, Desmond was awarded a transportation scholarship, providing the financial means for him to get to and from work every day for a whole month. During that time, Desmond saved up his money so that he could sustain the insurance and gas costs that come with owning a car. His mom gave him a used car, and now, because of the scholarship, he is able to use the car to get to work each day!
"I’m just blessed to have had this opportunity. This is a gift from God. Whoever is donating money to help us, that is just such a blessing. And, I wish in the long run I can return the favor and help other guys who are in the program."
In the Career Phase, the men, like Desmond, often do not have a car or even a license to get to their new job. Unless their job is in walking distance of Oliver Gospel, daily transportation to and from work can be a barrier to success in their new career and to progress towards finding permanent housing. This barrier also exists for the women at Toby's Place. Between kids' school and daycare schedules and their own jobs, transportation can be a major hurdle to jump in their journey of transformation.
Through the generosity of our donors, Oliver Gospel has begun providing transportation scholarships to the men and women in our programs in need. The money is given in the form of Uber gift cards that they use to arrive at work in a timely and consistent manner each day.
This is an ongoing need, as we frequently have men and women in our programs who have full-time jobs, part-time jobs, or sometimes even multiple jobs. These men and women are working hard to save their money so that they can purchase cars and move into permanent housing. The transportation scholarships are providing a temporary solution that makes a lasting impact.
If Desmond's story strikes a chord with you, please consider supporting future transportation scholarships. For $1,000, you can provide 3 full months of transportation and spark transformation at the same time! It is through your generosity that we see these men and women transform and move towards their bright future. Thank you for being a part of their journey!
*If we exceed our budget for this specific project, we will expend the extra funds toward a similarly focused project at the discretion of our leadership.