The Evaluation of the Tribal Welfare-to-Work Grants Program: Initial Implementation Findings. Transportation Assistance


The tribal WtW programs in our study have found that it is essential to respond to the difficulties tribal members face in getting to and from program activities and employer sites. Among the most common transportation-related barriers are geographic isolation of reservations from major employment sectors (resulting in lengthy and costly travel to worksites), lack of public transportation, poor roads, lack of valid driver's licenses, lack of automobile ownership, and need for help with automobile repairs. Because WtW funds are limited, tribal programs generally try to draw on the resources of other programs (especially TANF funding) before using WtW funds to cover transportation costs. Where other funding is not available, tribal WtW programs provide participants with bus tokens/passes (if such service exists), agency-operated van services, reimbursement for gas mileage, and payments for car repairs or auto insurance. For example, under Three Affiliated Tribes' 477 program, participants who attend and make satisfactory progress in education or work experience activities receive a $50 transportation stipend every two weeks. This stipend is to help with the purchase of gas (there is no public transportation on the reservation). In addition (though not yet publicized by the tribes and not much used), participants may receive up to $250 per year to offset costs of car repair.