February 18, 2020

Foundation Supports Driver Restoration Initiative

On February 17th, the Winston-Salem City Council approved $275,000 to expand the driver's license restoration program in Forsyth County. The Winston-Salem Foundation strongly supports this program, known as Driver Restoration Initiative and Vocational Expansion (DRIVE), as it directly aligns with our focus area work to Build an Inclusive Economy.

Through extensive listening conversations in 2018, the Foundation heard that inadequate transportation is a barrier to accessing childcare, receiving healthcare, attending preferred schools, and obtaining and maintaining employment. Along with addressing transportation challenges, we are working to increase pathways to family-sustaining careers and to reduce the racial wealth gap.  The DRIVE program positively impacts each of these inclusive economy priorities.

The Foundation recognizes that low-income households are disproportionately affected by “Failure to Pay” license suspensions because the unexpected cost of a ticket can become an insurmountable financial burden. These suspensions are not due to dangerous driving or criminal activity, but they are based solely on an individual’s inability to pay a ticket. Read more in the Winston-Salem Journal.

The DRIVE program is a step in the right direction on our path to build an inclusive economy in Forsyth County. With a restored driver’s license, many community members will have the freedom to get back to their lives. They can secure car insurance, get themselves to work, access better jobs, transport their children to school, and receive medical care. Most importantly, they will have the ability to be included in and contribute to the economic and social vitality of our community.