WFTS: Wheels of Success, a Non-profit That Provides Cars for Those in Need, Forced to Move Out of Building

TAMPA, Fla. – Non-profit Wheels of Success is facing a roadblock. The agency is housed at the Family Justice Center, but due to a lack of funding, the Justice Center is closing its doors.

It comes on the heels of a huge annual event for Wheels of Success.
Lynn Martinez, cherishes her new car.

“It means everything,” said Martinez.

The main provider for her daughter and grandson, she faced serious trouble after her truck, she had for 24 years completely broke down.

“If we don’t have transportation, you have the possibility of losing your job from just missing work,” said Martinez.

But then, Wheels of Success, gave her the jump start she needed— a Saturn.

“It has a changed my life, it really has,” said Martinez.

And changing lives is CEO Susan Jacob’s commitment. She talks freely about her past; she walked away from an abusive relationship.

” I certainly was someone that no one would think that would happen to, and I worked myself out and you can do the same thing,” said Jacobs.

But, like most battered women she struggled financially, Someone gave her the push she needed, a car. She wanted to pay it forward so she stared Wheels of Success.

Since it began 11 years ago, she’s helped more than 500 people get into a car and helped repair another 500 more, in a program she calls Build a car.

One of the donors, Lynn Rowe, was touched and she now volunteers here.

“These cars are going to go to people who really need them,” said Rowe.

However, it’s not a free ride, applicants need to be employed.
There’s also a small payment interest fee that can be made over a year, and the recipient has to be willing to volunteer like Lynn.

But Wheels of Success is facing a roadblock. The agency is housed at the Family Justice Center, but because of lack of funding, the agency is closing it’s door.

Jacobs plans to temporarily operate out of the lot where all the donated cars are parked, but the timing couldn’t be worse.

The agency is hosting a huge annual event at the Home Show, ACTION NEWS is a proud sponsor.

“We are not going to close, we just probably won’t take any new applications until where we are going to land permanently,” said Jacobs.

But she’s staying optimistic. She said she needs to, for people Like Lynn.

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Sarina Fazan | ABC Action News