“Eventually, I think I want to get my Class A and get on the road, drive big trucks.” — Montresa Harney, a formerly homeless woman who is now a trained Class C CDL holder
JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is working with community partners to eliminate homelessness and help alleviate a truck driver shortage that is facing transit agencies within the Magnolia State.
Through a program called D.R.I.V.E. (Developing Responsible Individuals with Valuable Education), MDOT and its partners are providing housing assistance, job training and employment for the homeless, according to an MDOT news release.
Participants in the program are completing commercial driver’s license (CDL) training and obtaining employment through MDOT’s Public Transit Division.
“MDOT’s Public Transit Division and Mississippi Home Corporation have teamed up with community partners to reduce homelessness and help alleviate the serious driver shortage that is facing transit agencies within the state through the D.R.I.V.E. service,” the news release stated.
Montresa Harney was homeless with her seven children but was able to turn her life around through this very program, which assisted her with job training, employment and housing assistance.
Harney recently obtained her Class C CDL through the program, and MDOT connected her with a job in public transit.
“I can drive anything under 26,000 pounds, so like a school bus, light transit, driving elderly people to their appointments,” Harney said. “It was very rewarding especially the patients I met. I love talking to them, they love talking to me it was very rewarding.”
Harney said she now has a new lease and outlook on life.
“Eventually, I think I want to get my Class A and get on the road, drive big trucks,” she said.
“I would encourage people to do it, if you’re thinking about getting your license, class A,B,C — go ahead and do it you know because you get to meet a lot of people who will support you.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.