VISTA Works to Expand Financial Planning Opportunities with Interfaith Ministries

Rebecca DakeRebecca Dake, Community Outreach VISTA at Interfaith Ministries of Denton wanted to boost her site’s ability to implement the goal written in its mission statement. The emergency financial assistance nonprofit serves the working poor and those on fixed incomes in northern Denton County. The nonprofit’s goal is to help those clients become self-sufficient–one interpretation meaning to help those clients plan, budget and save for future emergencies to avoid the need for outside assistance. This can be quite hard for those on low and fixed incomes, but it is not impossible. Rebecca’s site already offers financial counseling, and recently had a staff member and volunteer complete a financial training; however, it is challenging to get clients to sign up for financial counseling after they have received emergency assistance. Rebecca wondered if more financial education could be offered for her site’s clients before they receive assistance. The VISTA member met with Metrocrest Services, a nearby agency who provides this service. Rebecca interviewed a staff member about their agency’s best practices and made recommendations to her site about the feasibility of doing something similar. The suggestion was well received by Interfaith Ministries and Rebecca plans to help with the creation of materials that can be administered pre-assistance and ultimately be used to help those struggling become self-sufficient and break the cycle of poverty.

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