Organization seeks to help people save up for transportation

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 7:19 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Memphis organization that seeks to help low-wage earners gain assets just amped up one of its financial programs through a partnership with My City Rides.

RISE Memphis is an acronym for realizing income stability empowerment.

“Everything we do here has a common theme and that is financial empowerment,” said Shelia Terrell, President and CEO of RISE Memphis.

Terrell said the organization offers five different financial programs: Goal Card, Common Cents, Silver Neighbors, GMFEC, and its signature program SAVE UP.

“We have recently entered into a partnership with My City Rides where individuals can now purchase scooters,” Terrell said.

Save Up, a matched savings account program, helps low-wage earners purchase assets.

My City Rides makes reliable transportation affordable and ownership possible for those in the workforce.

Terell said assets like scooters can be purchased through the money participants have allotted through the save program.

“Everybody deserves an opportunity to be mobile,” Terrell said. “It should not just be limited to certain individuals or a certain segment of our community.”

Historically, the program has helped over 100-plus households access assets like computers, homes, and vehicles.

Saving for a vehicle can sometimes take years, but saving for a scooter could expedite the process, which could serve a greater purpose.

“People are already in the workforce when they come through save up,” Terrell said. “We will be able to help them get to jobs and better jobs. And they are able to be better employees. So that’s better for them, that’s better for the employers, that’s better for the community. Because they are not robbing Peter to pay Paul. Crime goes down, it’s just good for all of us.”

The partnership is still working out logistics but expects the program additions to roll out in June.

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