Jeannie Brisbois heard about WSCAT’s IDA program in March 2013, while working at the CTWS Vehicle Pool, from co-worker and friend Gordon Scott. At the time, she was excited about the idea of saving money to purchase a new home, as she hoped to give her existing home to family members. Unfortunately, precisely because she already owned a home, program rules made her ineligible for such an IDA. A year later, however, realizing that she needed a more reliable vehicle to get to work each day, she applied for an IDA to purchase a new vehicle, within the Oregon IDA Initiative’s Assistive Technology asset class.
After being accepted into the program, Jeannie took WSCAT’s take home Vehicle Purchase for Employment course, in which she researched financing options, calculated what she could afford, and compared three different vehicles based on criteria such as gas mileage, maintenance costs, vehicle life expectancy, safety, and insurance costs. As part of WSCAT’s SuperSaver program, Jeannie was able to save $7,200, including $6,000 in State matching funds, over a 13-month period.
With her savings, she bought a 2001 Chevy Silverado pickup truck, along with two sets of tires to ensure all-season safety. “It’s impossible to work here in Warm Springs without having a decent vehicle,” said Jeannie. “This truck will get me around for a several years, and I won’t have to worry about how I’ll get around in the snow or bad weather. I’m really glad we have this program here on the reservation.”