By Kiet Do

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — San Jose is giving away free cars to flood victims.

People whose cars were ruined by Coyote Creek flood water are getting some help as they try to rebuild their lives.

For San Jose resident Thi Tran, the flood damaged not one, but two of his vehicles.

The 67-year-old doesn’t have a lot of money, so he’s been trying to fix his cars himself, without much luck.

He says the water completely flooded and damaged the engine.

But help is on the way.

The city of San Jose announced a new car replacement program for flood victims, that has everyone pitching in.

First, the city is set to approve the donation of 20 used fleet vehicles.

They’re typically about 10 years old and with well over 100,000 miles on it.

Second, citizens can donate their used cars to Goodwill and claim a tax deduction in the process. Goodwill will help make sure the vehicles go to the neediest families.

Michael Fox, the Goodwill Industries’ Silicon Valley CEO said, “And I’d like everyone to know, that your donation to Goodwill of a car is not a handout, it’s a hand up for those in need.”

And then there’s the flood victims’ fund that everyone has been donating to.

It’s now up to about $6.4 million. This means hundreds of families who lost cars in the flood will get a voucher worth about $3,000.

Victims will be able to take that voucher to any of the 61 locations in the Silicon Valley Auto Dealers’ Association and buy a new car with an employee discount, buy a heavily discounted used car, or apply the voucher toward deeply discounted repair service on their flood-damaged car.

Greg Kepferle, the CEO of Catholic Charities said, “And so with a way to stretch that money, it’s kind of like stone soup. You put a little bit of money, and it grows, and there’s more money. And pretty soon, people have the ability to take care of themselves.”

Tran says the car replacement program should help.

We asked him if $3,000 dollars was enough.

He said, “I’ll get what I get and I’ll try not to ask for or demand anything more.”

Residents who can spare their vehicles, are being asked to donate their vehicles to their neighbors.

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