CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – A new program is providing low-to-moderate income residents in Centre County with funds to pay for vehicle repair costs.

Centre Helps is providing residents in Centre County who were impacted by COVID-19 with funds to repair their cars.

“Maybe they lost hours at work due to COVID because they were quarantined and they couldn’t go in,” Basic Needs Case Manager Jared Pavlock said. “Maybe they contracted COVID for a long time and weren’t able to work.”

Funded through Community Development Block Grant money, Centre Helps was originally focused on providing rent and electric help with the funds. They are now shifting to meet the newfound need in the community.

“We were having to turn people away,” Executive Director Denise McCann said. “If you don’t have a vehicle, then you can’t get to your job reliably. Then that just creates, if you don’t have that income coming in that just creates the whole avalanche.”

McCann said just under $100,000 will be made available for Centre County residents living outside of State College.

“The cost of the repair can’t be greater than the value of the vehicle. They have to be the owner of the vehicle so that we can do the repairs,” McCann said. “Obviously not cosmetic, but anything that will help keep the vehicle running.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the program can start by calling Centre Helps for a preliminary eligibility screening.

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“We do that screening phone call and then we would take them through an intake process where we fill out paperwork,” Pavlock said. “If someone’s not eligible for the vehicle aspect, the vehicle program, we may be able to help them in other areas.”