By Car Helps Solve Mobility Issues

posted 7/6/18 -- Next time you’re sitting in a traffic jam, imagine how different your life would be without your car.

You’d probably find yourself begging for rides to work. You’d walk to the grocery store. Someone else would take your children to school.

And when you heard about LCCAA’s By Car program, you’d wonder if it were the light at the end of your tunnel. It was for Lucy Cawthorn (pictured) and Chasidy Gurley.

“I had to go to work. It was insane,” said Lucy, who lost her previous car in an accident. “I was forking out gas money and giving out the money I had saved up. This program was a savior.”

“It’s been a long time since I have been mobile,” Chasidy said. “It has affected everything.”

By Car is a matched savings program that helps people who need a car for work or school. Participants must take a financial literacy class that emphasizes saving. They then save their earned income and LCCAA matches it to allow them to purchase a used car.

“You don’t know what you have until you lose it,” Lucy said. “I’m a single mom. It is hard. You have to think twice about money and bills. The class itself helps you too. It’s not just the money. The class teaches you you have to save.”

Chasidy said completing the program relieved her and made her feel accomplished. She is able to get to work, take her daughter to school functions and go to appointments.

“Don’t give up,” she said.

By Car participants must be living at or below 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Line and no one in their household can own a car. They must be employed or enrolled in an education program.

Eligible clients save their earned income toward a vehicle purchase. The By Car program matches their savings 2 to 1 up to a total of $3,999. Participants take financial literacy courses as well as learning the costs of owning a vehicle and its proper maintenance.

By Car is funded in part by the Community Services Block Grant, a federal program regularly up for renewal and reconsideration. To help maintain this program for people like Lucy and Chasidy, call or write your Senator or Representative and tell them you saw this story of success! Click here for a list of contact information for those who represent Lorain County.