Many low-income Minnesotans are forced to rely on older, inexpensive cars. The cost of a ticket for an equipment violation and the bill for repairing auto lights can easily top $200. For people struggling to make ends meet, a few hundred dollars can undermine their fragile economic security. A broken taillight or turn signal can mean choosing between a minor auto repair and buying groceries for their family. It also can be the beginning of a downward economic spiral that for some winds up in multiple tickets, confrontations with police and sometimes leading to the impoundment of their vehicle. Lights On! is here to help.Donate Now
Lights On! pays for minor auto repairs
Through the Lights On! program, police officers stopping cars that have problems with their lights (headlights, tail lights, brake lights or turn signals) can offer a solution to those who can’t afford repairs. Those officers can offer drivers a Lights On! vouchers that is redeemable for free repairs at any of the eight Twin Cities Bobby and Steve’s Auto Worlds.
Stopping the Downward Spiral
Through Lights On!, the first-of-its-kind program, people will be able to fix broken lights on their cars before multiple tickets create a financial catastrophe.
The program also is an opportunity to build goodwill between police departments and the communities they serve. Patrol officers are empowered by Lights On! to have conversations with people they stop for lights violations. We believe that this will be a positive conversation between the officer and the driver, explaining the program. If the person can’t afford repairs, the officer has a solution.
Lights On! is a program created by MicroGrants, and run jointly with many police departments across the Twin Cities, and with the good will of Bobby & Steve’s Auto World. Now, when a car is pulled over for a lights violation, law enforcement can give out a voucher to get the car lights fixed for free at any Bobby and Steve’s Auto World location, and MicroGrants foots the bill.Help us foot the bill. Please donate!
Lights On! is a community-driven solution. MicroGrants is financing the repairs with support from Bobby and Steve’s Auto World. We are hopeful that people in Minnesota will see that value of a program that is helping people in need and making our streets safer WITHOUT waiting for a government program. We hope we can extend the program to more communities, but to do so, we need the support of donors.
Police departments are very enthusiastic about the program. Functioning lights are an important public safety issue, but police also recognize the financial burden that repairs and multiple tickets for equipment violations can put on people living in poverty. The voucher program not only helps mitigate economic hardship, it also can improve relations between police and the public, especially low-income Minnesotans and communities of color.
“Having dependable transportation is pivotal to moving out of poverty. Service vouchers are a simple solution that give people the opportunity to maintain steady transportation so they’re able to stay employed, stay afloat and stay connected to their community.”
– Don Samuels, MicroGrants CEO
MicroGrants is a Minnesota non-profit that works with partner agencies to promote and support economic self-sufficiency through strategic grants to low-income people of potential.
Bobby & Steve’s Auto World. Gas With Class. Serving people is the most important part of Bobby & Steve’s Auto World. Bobby and Steve’s have eight locations around the Twin Cities metro area.
• 328 Cedar Lake Rd. So. in Minneapolis
• 3701 Central Ave. NE in Columbia Heights
• 8100 Flying Cloud Dr. in Eden Prairie
• 7920 France Ave. So. in Edina
• 5801 Nicollet Ave. So. in Minneapolis
• 1820 So. Robert St. in West St. Paul
• 1221 S Washington Ave. in Downtown Mpls
• 10740 Normandale Blvd. in Bloomington
• 9871 Maple Grove Pkwy in Maple Grove
Participating Police Departments:
Dakota County Sheriff
St. Louis Park
South St. Paul
Spring Lake Park
University of Minnesota