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“Help! My Car Needs Fixed!”

AUTHOR: Curt Knouse, Executive Director

PHONE: 814-234-7731

AGENCY: Interfaith Human Services


The basis of financial stability is working, and, unless you can work at home, you must get to the worksite. To wait on tables or check out groceries or clean peoples’ houses you have to travel. In Centre County that usually means having a reliable vehicle.

It’s especially true for people with low incomes because the cheaper housing is seldom served by any kind of public transit. If you find a job in State College but you live in Warrior’s Mark, you can’t just hop on a bus.

So maybe you have a car but it is getting old: the tires in particular are on their last legs. One has gone soft twice this month, and all four will definitely fail inspection. A new set of tires runs $400-$500 dollars. You don’t have the money. But you will have no money at all if you can’t get to work.

Interfaith Human Services has seen this problem come up for several of its clients. That’s why this year we added a new program for emergency vehicle repair. For people of limited income, who have a job and need their car to keep the job, IHS can provide up to $500 towards a repair or credential (like an annual inspection or an insurance payment) that will make the car usable for keeping the job. The client gets a written estimate from a garage or parts retailer (if they can install the parts themselves), and IHS pays the bill directly to the garage or store. If there’s a question about needing more than $500’s worth of repairs, the IHS case manager can help the client seek out other resources or prioritize repairs.

If you want to know more about the Emergency Vehicle Repair Program see our website:

or call Interfaith, 814-234-7731.

Curt Knouse

Executive Director

Interfaith Human Services


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