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Money Smart - A Financial Education Program

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Spotlight On... Self Sufficiency

Organization: Willimantic-Danielson Partnership: ACCESS Agency, Inc.
Main Office: Danielson, CT

The Willimantic-Danielson Partnership: ACCESS Agency, Inc. emerged as a result of a partnership between a non-profit community-based organization and two Department of Labor/Connecticut Works One-Stop Employment Centers. ACCESS is a non-profit community action program geared toward meeting the needs of low- and moderate income individuals residing in rural communities, with special emphasis on the delivery of its services to welfare recipients transitioning into the workplace. ACCESS offers a broad range of programs such as life skills training, personal and group counseling, family skills, mentoring, job training, and post-placement services.

ACCESS trainers use seven of the Money Smart modules to teach classes on a weekly basis over the course of a seven-week period. The Money Smart curriculum is used in conjunction with the financial education component within a number of the programs offered by ACCESS to its English- and Spanish-speaking clients. Financial self-sufficiency is an integral part of the service strategy for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and Individual Development Accounts (IDA) program. In support of the IDA program, the Savings Institute of Willimantic provides low-cost bank accounts to participants. ACCESS also provides the full ten module Money Smart course to the public twice a year.

Organization: Summer HEAT (Help Employ Area Teens)
Main Office: Trenton, NJ

The Summer HEAT program was developed as part of New Jersey’s Public Safety Plan (PSP), which aims to reduce youth delinquency, gang involvement, and gun violence in New Jersey’s cities through partnerships between local government and the community to reduce the impact of risk factors on youth. The HEAT program helps disadvantaged youth gain positive employment experiences. When New Jersey’s Summer HEAT Program was created, New Jersey Youth Corps recommended that Money Smart be incorporated into the initial training phase for all participants. The idea was adopted, and Money Smart for Young Adults is now part of the orientation for all Summer HEAT participants that must be completed prior to job placement.

As a compliment to New Jersey’s Summer HEAT Program, New Jersey Youth Corps created a Summer Youth Corps Program to help out-of-school youth ages 16-25 gain positive work experience. Due to the success of the Money Smart Training Program with regular Youth Corps members, Money Smart has been incorporated into this summer employment program as a significant component of the life skills training program, and the curriculum is offered at all 12 of its program sites throughout New Jersey. One site enhanced its financial literacy component by partnering with Wachovia Bank. Bank staff, meet with HEAT participants on an ongoing basis to share information on banking and discuss how to open an account.

Organization: The Women’s Resource of Greater Houston
Main Office: Houston, TX

The Women’s Resource of Greater Houston (TWR) helps women and children develop social, financial and personal skills through education and experience. Their guiding principle is that women who control their money control their destiny. TWR utilizes both Money Smart and Money Smart for Young Adults in their educational seminars that are taught by trained volunteers. TWR partners with more than 30 local civic and community based organizations and social service agencies to deliver Money Smart. These seminars are offered in various venues, including to public assistance recipients, probationers, employees in workplaces, public and private school students, and non-profit agency clients.

TWR has provided financial education to over 7,500 individuals and awarded over $850,000 in grants to 80 agencies and programs. In addition, TWR has published ten significant research papers authored by experts at several of the City’s leading universities.

Organization: The Housing Authority of Kansas City (HAKC)
Main Office: Kansas City, MO

The Housing Authority of Kansas City, Missouri (HAKC) assists in the development, rehabilitation and management of safe, sanitary and affordable, quality housing. HAKC maintains affordable housing that, meet the long-term needs of low-income households and serve as viable community resources that promote economic independence and self-sufficiency for their residents. The HAKC is also committed to promoting economic self-sufficiency and improving residents’ quality of life via its Resident Services department. An integral component is financial education and FDIC’s Money Smart curriculum serves as the core instructional element for six programs within HAKC. Hence, HAKC has trained staff members teaching an average of three classes per week and overseeing three computer-based instruction (CBI) classes. One program utilizing Money Smart is the Youth Build program for individuals, ages 18-23 pursuing their General Education Degree (GED); students are required to complete an average of 36 hours of Money Smart year round. Other HAKC programs that incorporate Money Smart are: Public Housing Homeownership; Section 8 Homeownership; Public Housing Family Self-Sufficiency, Section 8 Family Self-Sufficiency and Resident.


Last Updated 03/20/2011

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