With its Moorhead location reaching capacity, Fix It Forward Ministry, as well as Fix It Forward Auto Care, is scheduled to open a south Fargo location in early November, the Moorhead-based nonprofit announced via news release.
The 501(c)(3) not-for-profit cited "tremendous growth" and "ever-increasing need of those experiencing transportation issues in the Fargo-Moorhead community" for opening the south Fargo location, which will be located at 6219 53rd Ave. S.
The Fargo location will have more space, equipment and tools, which Fix It Forward said will boost volunteer labor teams and double shop work days. Fix It Forward President Matthew Carlson told InForum the new location will also make it easier for south Fargo, West Fargo and Horace residents to access Fix It Forward's services.
To remove transportation barriers, Fix It Forward provides no-cost car repairs and fixes donated vehicles to give to community residents in need. Fix It Forward is financed through charitable donations and uses volunteer labor and discounted parts.
Fix It Forward works with over 40 organizations in the F-M area to connect with existing case managers rather than hiring case managers of their own. The partnerships with local organizations reduce costs and allow Fix It Forward to focus on cars.
"They have clients that need cars repaired but can't afford it," Carlson said. "Without transportation, you can't get a job. Without a job, you can't be self-sufficient."
Carlson and Jeremy Jensen founded Fix It Forward in 2015, opening Fix It Forward auto care three years later at 2620 2nd Ave. N. in Moorhead. "We started the ministry because I'm a car guy and I’ve got some friends who are car guys, and we just love working on cars," Carlson explained. "We realized there’s a whole bunch of people who really like to work on cars and there are a whole bunch of people who desperately need their car repaired but can’t afford to do so."
While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the availability of volunteers, the demand for vehicle services has remained the same. "COVID-19 has definitely impacted what we can do. Because we’re volunteer-based, we bring in groups of people and we’ve had to really limit what we can do there," Carlson said. "It certainly has not limited the number of people who need services."
As of October 2020, Fix It Forward has given away over 250 vehicles and repaired 600.