News Release


DATE: July 11, 2000

CONTACT STEVE SCHMIDT AT 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108


County Supervisors Vote to Ease Transportation Woes of Welfare Recipients

SAN DIEGO COUNTY - In a collaborative effort spearheaded by Chairwoman Dianne Jacob and Supervisor Greg Cox, the County will work to help welfare recipients buy cars of their own and get on the road to self-sufficiency. The Board of Supervisors voted today to pursue a cooperative program with the DMV, local auto dealers, insurance companies and financial institutions that could pave the way for some of the County's over 30,000 CalWORKS recipients to purchase and maintain cars of their own.

"The County of San Diego has been a leader in innovation when it comes to reforming the welfare system and moving families from dependency to self sufficiency," stated Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, who outlined the cooperative program in her State of the County Address earlier this year. "Accessible transportation is one of the biggest obstacles facing a successful welfare reform. It can make the difference in whether or not someone continues down the road to self-sufficiency. Today's innovative program is just one more way that San Diego County is helping families by giving them a hand up, not a hand out."

Supervisor Cox, who was a leader in introducing personal responsibility and a "work first" focus into the County's welfare system, commented, "I can't imagine the difficulty of getting to work on time after dropping several children off at different schools without a car. In many cases, we've found that the public transportation systems around the County simply don't work to support some of those struggling to move off welfare. What we're seeing here is the County partnering with the State and the private sector to help our CalWORKS recipients support themselves and their families." A team effort by the County, the DMV, local auto dealers, financial institutions and insurance companies will induce CalWORKS recipients to purchase and maintain their own vehicles. The cars will not be given away, rather the intent of the program is to facilitate issuing the applicants low to moderate interest loans, extended payment plans, and/or other incentives that will result in individual plans that lead to job retention.

Since 1995, this Board of Supervisors has been a leading force in moving families off welfare and into the workforce. Since the development of the County's welfare reform efforts, 38,000 families have transitioned from welfare to work, saving taxpayers nearly $500 million.