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Car for Families

Catholic Charities Car Ministry

Catholic Charities Car Ministry or Cars for Families helps connect low-income families obtain vehicles. The Car Ministry was founded over two decades ago by Father John O’Hara and longtime Catholic Charities employee Harry Burke.

Cars for Families

The program accepts working cars, which it titles to qualified recipients. This is a unique aspect of the Catholic Charities program. Non-operational cars are also accepted and proceeds go to volunteer ministries.

People in need of a car who meet the criteria listed below should request an application by contacting the Car Ministry Cars for Families program by email at cars@ccda.net or by phone at (703) 841-3898.


The basic criteria are:

  1. Have at least one dependent child living with the applicant.
  2. Have at least one parent who is working at least 30 hours per week.
  3. Have a valid Virginia driver’s license.
  4. Have a good driving record.
  5. Be low income (Guidelines included in the application)

People requesting an application should provide their:

  1. Name.
  2. Phone number.
  3. Home address.

Applicants must complete the application and return it to Catholic Charities with the following documentation:

  1. A copy of their Virginia driver’s license.
  2. A copy of their License record which can be obtained from the DMV.
  3. Copy of birth certificate(s) of child or children.
  4. Last two pay stubs of the working parent.

Completed applications and required documents can be sent to:

  1. cars@ccda.net.
  2. Fax to (703) 841-2752 with a cover sheet “For Car Ministry”.
  3. By mail to The Car Ministry, 200 N. Glebe Road, Suite 250, Arlington , VA. 22203.

Once a completed application and all the supporting documents are received and reviewed the applicant will be notified if we can put them on our wait list. The process is that once the applicant’s name comes to the top of the wait list they will be notified we have a car for them. We will give them the information they need to obtain insurance on the vehicle which is required by the DMV. We will then set an appointment for them to come to our office to do the necessary paperwork and take the car title to the DMV to register the car in their name. The registration at the DMV will cost the applicant about $135. Once the applicant has registered the car in their name they will return to our office where we will give them the keys to the car and help them put the plates on their new car.