CDL training now available for homeless
Published 9:00 am Wednesday, March 30, 2022
The Mississippi Department of Transportation is working with community partners to help alleviate the serious driver shortage facing transit agencies and eliminate homelessness in the process.
Through a program called DRIVE — Developing Responsible Individuals with Valuable Education — MDOT and partners are providing housing assistance, job training and employment for the homeless. Participants in the program will complete Certified Driver License training and obtain employment through MDOT’s Public Transit Division.
DRIVE is funded through a multi-million dollar CARES funds grant through the Mississippi Home Corporation.
Montresa Harney was homeless with her seven children, but was able to turn her life around through the DRIVE program. She recently obtained her Class C driver license through the program and was connected to a public transit job.
“I can drive anything under 26,000 pounds, so, like a school bus, JATRAN bus, light transit driving elderly people to their appointments,” Harney said. “It was very rewarding, especially the patients I met. I love talking to them. They love talking to me. It was very rewarding. Eventually I think I want to get my Class A and get on the road — drive big trucks.”
“These jobs have benefits,” said Tamara Stewart of the Mississippi Home Corporation. “A lot of these individuals come from homelessness with no employment, or from low income jobs with no benefits, to have a stable job with benefits. It’s life changing for them.”
Harney said she encourages others to get involved.
“If you’re thinking about getting your license — class A, B, C — go ahead and do it, you know, because you get to meet a lot of people who will support you,” she said.
To learn more about the program, visit MDOTtraffic.com.