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Earlier this month, Washtenaw County was announced as part of a new cohort of communities receiving grants to explore the feasibility of launching Financial Empowerment Centers in their communities through the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. This grant will provide funding and technical support to the United Way of Washtenaw County and the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development to explore bringing free, professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a public service to residents. Through this process, our community is joining more than two dozen local governments who are working to implement this evidence based model. Financial Empowerment Centers focus on debt reduction, asset building, credit recovery, and affordable banking accounts.
This planning grant and potential Financial Empowerment Center will build upon the financial coaching work already being implemented by the United Way. Ugbaad Keynan, one of their financial coaches, spoke to the opportunity this project could bring, “With this new initiative, we hope that even more members of our community can begin their journey towards achieving their financial goals and overall financial wellbeing. We’re excited to learn more about how we can continue to move this work forward with this grant.”
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date about what we learn throughout the course of this exploratory project and how we will use the information we gather to inform future activities.