About Us

A Ministry of helping people find work

Work is part of God’s plan for man. The Bible says (Genesis 2:15) “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” Jesus worked as a carpenter (Mark 6:3) as well as a teacher and healer. He understood the value and importance of work reminding that only them who work “are worthy of their food” (Matt 10:10) and “laborers are worthy of their hire…” (Luke 10:7).

Paul was a tentmaker who preached what he practiced, telling early Christians (1Thess. 4:12) “to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly …and be dependent on no one”.

The Catholic Church (Catechism #2427) teaches that “Work honors the Creator’s gifts and the talents received from him. It can also be redemptive.” And (2428) ”Everyone should be able to draw from work the means of providing for his life and that of his family, and of serving the human community”. In an address at St. Peter’s Square, May 2013 Pope Francis said “Work is part of God’s loving plan… Work is fundamental to the dignity of a person.”

 

The need for low cost transportation to work and the Ride To Work Ministry concept

Review of client data from the local food pantry shows that when people find a job they either stop going or go only a few times a year rather than monthly. Church benevolence organizations similarly recognize the importance of employment in a person’s path to self-sufficiency.

Review of client data from the local food pantry shows that when people find a job they either stop going or go only a few times a year rather than monthly. Church benevolence organizations similarly recognize the importance of employment in a person’s path to self-sufficiency.

Oconee County is currently blessed with a vibrant economy (hundreds of jobs available for people with a High School diploma!) and wonderful local organizations such as SC Works, Goodwill Job Connection, SC Vocational Rehabilitation Development, Our Daily Rest, and many Staffing Agencies to help place people in these jobs. These organizations tell us that a major job inhibitor is the lack of reliable transportation to someone’s potential place of employment. Some people who want to work cannot because they cannot get to work. Others have lost their job due to spotty attendance caused by transportation issues.

The current CAT bus route does a good job of getting people to downtown Seneca, the Hospital, Wal-Mart, etc., but does not go to Westminster, Walhalla or West Union, does not include many of the major businesses in our area, and only operates from 6am to 6pm M-F. The city of Seneca and Oconee County Council are working to expand CAT bus routes, but implementation is at least 3 years away.

The Ride to Work Ministry Nonprofit Inc. concept is to provide low cost transportation to and from work for individuals who otherwise do not have transportation. Our mission is to provide short term affordable transportation to residents of Oconee County so they can transition to stable employment with a living wage and become self-sufficient. The Ministry operates as a ‘fee–for–service’ non-profit offering low cost rides from central locations in the Oconee County to various places of employment in the Oconee County area. Riders will pay a small daily amount and Ride To Work Ministry Nonprofit Inc. will subsidize the rest of the cost.  Riders are expected to save money once they are working and be able to afford their own transportation as soon as possible.

 

How Ride To Work Operates   

The Ministry is registered as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation in South Carolina and is exempt from taxes under the Federal Income tax code. An all-volunteer Board of Directors oversees the operations and all work is done by volunteers. There are no paid positions. Rides are contracted to UBER drivers or another local service provider. While a ministry, we are not affiliated with any specific church; we do work with several local churches for support of clients.

An application process has been established for potential riders. Once an application has been turned in, riders are vetted to verify their employment transportation need and to assess the feasibility that their need can be accommodated by the Ministry’s transportation schedules. Transportation schedules will be determined in such a way as to attempt to accommodate the greatest number of riders and to ensure continuity for existing riders. If accepted, a rider must sign a liability waiver and sign that they agree to the rules of the program. Riders must pay in advance to begin using the service. Drivers do not accept money.

The fee charged for rides is below other commercial options and at or below the actual costs of Ride to Work Ministry. Operations use UBER, Lyft, local taxis at reduced rates or some other public service to provide actual rides. Rider payment is $5 per day paid directly to Ride To Work Ministry Nonprofit Inc. Ride To Work pays the service provider and will subsidize the riders temporarily as they save money to buy a Moped or other vehicle or find a car pool, or move closer to their workplace, etc.

A detailed pick up and drop off schedule is established weekly based on ridership demand, route efficiency and other criteria, and may vary from week to week. The Ministry will attempt to accommodate rider employment schedule needs within Ministry resources. All potential riders may not be able to be accommodated due to limitations in transportation equipment, a cost effective route structure, Ministry funding, or other factors.

Any rider not showing up at the appointed “pick up” time forfeits his/her ride that day without reimbursement. The Ministry accepts no liability for riders who are not present at pick up times. Riders will be expected to be courteous, on time, and respectful of property and other riders. Riders will be expected to use appropriate safety equipment and to act in a safe and responsible manner. Ridership may be terminated for failure to comply with Ministry policies.

You can help meet the need!

Our biggest need is for more volunteers and funds to help subsidize the riders.
Please donate or volunteer through the Supporter page of our website.