Non-Profit Repairs Cars for Low-Income Residents of Sioux Falls, Rapid City – Argus Leader | Car Plazas

SHIFT Garage volunteer Chad Huston checks the tire pressure of a donated car on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 in Sioux Falls.

Volunteers at the SHIFT workshop in north Sioux Falls don’t just fix vehicles, they try to change lives.

SHIFT Garage is a non-profit, volunteer-based vehicle repair shop at 3632 N. Casco Ave. that charges low-income customers for replacements and repairs at cost. They also accept donated vehicles, repair them and sell them cheaply to families.

While the nonprofit organization began in Rapid City about a decade ago, founder and director Joe Smith expanded to a second location in Sioux Falls late last year.

The goal is to help people get their vehicles running so they can get back to their lives with ease, he said. Overall, such a simple solution can have an impact on generational poverty, he added.

“One car that breaks down kills your whole system when you’re living paycheck to paycheck,” Smith said. “You have to make a decision about funding and sign your life to just drive to work.”

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SHIFT Garage volunteers Greg Matson, Jim Johnson, Jen Roeder and Chad Huston work to polish up a donated car in Sioux Falls on Wednesday, January 12, 2022.

While there are many nonprofit organizations involved in food and shelter in the Sioux Falls area, more attention needs to be paid to reliable transportation, he added.

Other Sioux Falls nonprofits that address transportation issues include Sioux Empire Wheels to Work, which brings together single-parent families with donated and repaired vehicles, and Project CAR, which offers free car rides.

“Without a car, they can’t buy groceries, go to work, or take their kids to daycare,” Smith said. “And some solutions like Lyft or Uber are more expensive; Sioux Falls public transportation can be unreliable; and your friends will only be picking up the phone for a few weeks.”

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