RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – At this time last year, Jane* would have told you that building her savings was an unattainable goal. She was 50 years old and had never found the discipline to stick with a regular savings program. After moving to California a few years prior with a $300 credit card limit, $37 in cash, and some faith, a savings account seemed out of reach.
This month, Jane will be one of seven participants to graduate from Hope through Housing’s Money Match Savings Program. The 12-month program was launched last summer as part of Hope through Housing’s Pathways to Economic Empowerment initiative and is financially supported by Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), Pacific Western Bank, and the FHL Bank AHEAD Grant (nominated by Citizens Business Bank).
“Congratulations to the graduates,” said Pacific Western Bank Vice President and Community Outreach Officer Nancy Morikawa. “Pacific Western Bank is proud to support a program that helps individuals increase savings, reduce debt, and open up renewed hope for homeownership.”
Built around the idea of encouraging good savings and budgeting habits, participants committed to a monthly savings of up to $200.00 for 12 months. Residents attended an initial application meeting to enroll and completed four additional financial literacy workshops throughout the program. Each month, participants met with Hope through Housing’s Economic Mobility Specialist to check-in and verify deposits and a growing savings account. Upon completion, Pathways to Economic Empowerment will be matching $0.50 to the $1.00 of the committed contribution.
“Month after month all the participants checked in, followed their requirements, and completed the program successfully. Many of them shared how difficult it was to not spend the money as they saw their savings grow, but they stuck to it,” commented Economic Mobility Specialist Heidi Reyes. “For that very reason, I am so proud of every single one of the participants of this savings program! I am so thankful for our funders for granting these seven participants the opportunity to establish a savings habit.”
Pathways to Economic Empowerment strives to connect residents to financial resources and employment, decrease debt through reduction and consolidation, increase credit scores, and focus on short and long-term savings, as well as the path to homeownership. “We are so proud of these residents and the impact that our Pathways Financial Coaching is making in helping our residents develop lifelong savings habits and money management skills,” says Hope through Housing President Greg Bradbard.
For participants like Jane, this program has meant the world, especially during a challenging year. “It’s given me a new sense of confidence in my ability to manage my money and inspired me to set more goals,” says Jane. “I’ve been looking beyond the program and plan to continue saving and paying off my debt. And for the first time since losing my home to foreclosure ten years ago, I’m seeing homeownership as a possibility”.
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About Pathways to Economic Mobility
Hope through Housing’s Pathways to Economic Empowerment initiative seeks to improve the financial and social well-being of individuals and families through financial education, workforce development, and one-on-one financial coaching. The program is designed to foster economic mobility and to help low-income residents living in National Community Renaissance communities achieve stability and self-sufficiency. Through a combination of financial literacy workshops, community partnerships, and individualized coaching, residents receive support, guidance, and accountability to reach their personal and family goals.
About Hope through Housing
Hope through Housing believes that affordable housing can be a platform for transformational change at the individual and neighborhood level. For more than 20 years, the Hope through Housing Foundation has provided more than 2 million hours of transformational social services helping children and teens achieve success, improving families’ financial well-being, and promoting seniors’ health and wellness. For more information on Hope through Housing, please visit www.hthf.org.