Boy Aimee, I wish I could help you out, but we are many hundreds of miles away near Chicago.
As you might recall, I volunteer helping the under-resourced, with basic transportation needs through our church. Most recipients are single moms. The C.A.R.S. Ministry program Here
once used the phrase "Cars For Moms".
Not associated with that organization, just between you, me, and the seller, I might have a 1996 Dodge Avenger with 140,000 miles, in good mechanical (safe) opperating condition becoming available by end of month, maybe sooner. It has a dented driver door which does not hinder functionality. Issues due to age are A/C not working and small fluid leaks that are not serious enough to address. Price not yet sure, but hoping to offer it for $1,000 to someone in a situation such as yours.
I'll purchase the car myself with the seller signing the title. But I won't sign it as the buyer. I'll go through the car and make sure it's safe as the seller states. Any additional investment I make in parts will increase the selling price of the car by that amount. When I find a buyer, they'll come to my house with cash and sign the title as the new owner. I "officially" stay out of the deal to make it most affordable. I'll make no profit, doing it only to help out people in financial difficulty who try hard to make life work, needing a little break in this area of their life by getting them setup with good reliable and "affordable" transportation.
If I get this car, it checks out good, and you are interested in it, you would have to take an Amtrak train to Chicago's Union Station, then leave there on the Metra train to the Elgin Station by me. Living in warmer Kentucky, I do realize the A/C not working would be a big deal. The car is also a 2-door coupe which makes 3 or more occupants more of a hassle. I really don't think it's a good fit for you but it's a proposal none-the-less.