Tierra Ellis has a lot of places to be.
She works as a home health aide and has a skincare business that she’s building called Loved by Tierra. Her three kids also have school, activities and events that they need to attend (before the pandemic put a halt to all that, of course).
Yet until November, Tierra didn’t have a car and relied on public transportation, her bicycle, and rides from family and friends to get where she needed to go.
Tierra completed CWEE’s career training program and through our partnership with Denver Rescue Mission, Tierra was able to apply to receive a vehicle. The Wheels to Work program supports CWEE participants, and other career seekers in need, with a safe vehicle to remove the significant barrier of transportation and help them succeed in employment.
CWEE pays the initial sum to purchase the vehicle (about 10% of the value), and the recipient is responsible for paying the title and taxes, as well as ongoing gas, maintenance and insurance fees.
In Tierra’s case, with her business and her job, she has income — but she wasn’t able to cover the significant up-front costs of purchasing a vehicle. Now, with support of CWEE and Denver Rescue Mission, she is the proud owner of a Toyota Sienna minivan with plenty of room for her family!
“I have so many aspirations for myself, my business, and my children,” Tierra said. “Transportation was holding me back, but now it’s time to go farther.”
Asked what she most looks forward to now that she has a car, Tierra has a list. For one, she has more time with her children in the morning, with at least 30 minutes trimmed off her daily commute. She never has to walk or ride her bike in the snow anymore, and now she and her family can finally take advantage of the natural beauty our state offers.
“Camping! Mountains! Getting outside! Just thinking about it makes me so excited,” Tierra said.
Now that transportation is no longer an issue, Tierra looks forward to growing her skincare business and even starting another business focused on the growing home health sector and helping other people start their career as home health aides.
She credits her time in CWEE’s program with helping her build confidence, new skills, and especially, the ability to advocate for herself and her family.
“CWEE touched every aspect of my life where I needed support, and it helped me grow tremendously.”