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Milwaukee Urban League offers free drivers ed to those in need

Posted: 6:39 PM, Nov 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-12 19:39:34-05

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Urban League is looking to help at least 303 people get their driver's license, free of charge.

It’s all through a program they’ve been operating for more than 20 years. Now, they’re pushing harder to get more people into the courses than ever before.

The monthly course is free to everyone who qualifies. That includes anyone enrolled in the State of Wisconsin’s Food Share Employment and Training (FSET) program. Drivers must also have no unpaid citations or fines.

“We need programs like this. We do,” said Douglas Harris.

Harris got his license through the four-day course over the summer. He finally got it after spending when his license expired when he was homeless.

Now, he’s back on his feet.

“Now, I just got my driver’s license. So it’s going to take me a minute to get a car, but at least I’m heading in the right direction,” Harris said.

The program is taught by an instructor. A Wisconsin Department of Transportation employee comes in on the fourth and final day of classes to offer the learner’s permit tests.

“It’s such a blessing because I had no idea up until last Thursday,” said Alaina Applewhite, a current student of the class.

Applewhite took the bus the class. She also takes the bus with her 2-month-old daughter Naomi. With temperatures dropping, she said it’s time to get on the road.

“It means more availability to jobs and not having my daughter out in this bad weather,” she said.

The average cost-per-person is estimated around $350. Each person in the course will not have to pay.

According to Milwaukee Police:

1,966 people have been cited this year for operating without a license.

7,309 people have been cited with a suspended or revoked license.

The Urban League said they are looking to have at least 303 students by the end of the contract year that began on Oct. 1.