Allstate Foundation Project Highlights
South King County YWCA advocate Jennifer Quiroz has successfully partnered with Keith Beach of the Jennifer Beach Foundation to offer 10-week financial education courses to survivors. This incredible partnership combines survivor-centered advocacy with pragmatic financial education. In their classes, Jennifer and Keith cover topics such as: safety and finances, banking, budgeting, and saving, building and maintaining good credit, consumer loans and how to avoid predatory lenders, getting a job, finding a place to live, income taxes and the earned income tax credit, the importance of insurance, and setting and meeting financial goals.
Spokane YWCA advocate Christine Pomeroy does her financial literacy classes a little bit differently. Christine offers classes 3 times a month at the confidential shelter or the community office on various topics including banking basics, taxes, and budgeting. This strategy enables people to just attend one class and get information about something they are particularly interested in.
Both programs provide childcare, food, transportation expenses, and incentives for participation.
Beyond the classes
Both programs have also partnered with local banks to offer second-chance bank accounts to those survivors who otherwise could not get accounts (for example, due to previous account closure issues). Both programs have also started secured credit card programs in which survivors are able to have a credit card in their name that is guaranteed by the YWCA. This account has $250 and is good for one year. If after a year the card holders have maintained their payments and are in good standing, they are able to apply for an unsecured credit card. This is a great way for survivors to rebuild their credit and gain the confidence to take control of their finances.
Replicate this statewide!
Want to know more about how you can create or enhance economic empowerment projects at your program? Contact WSCADV's Economic Justice Program Coordinator to brainstorm ideas and find out what other programs are doing. Funding opportunities periodically arise and there is almost always a quick turn around time for us to submit grant applications so it is helpful for us to have ideas already in development. Contact us to share what ideas you have for your program to begin or continue your economic empowerment projects and let's continue to work on economic justice for all!