Building a Secure Financial Footing
Essex County is an expensive place to live. Housing costs are high and too many of our friends and neighbors struggle to make ends meet. Issues such as poor credit, lack of access to safe banking products, and a lack of familiarity with money management can serve to compound challenges many families face.
Through our Empower Essex County financial empowerment programming, we provide access to personalized financial coaching, financial literacy workshops, and specific assistance for first time homebuyers, car buyers, and those looking to provide healthy, nutritious meals on a budget.
To learn more about these programs, contact our team.
Financial Literacy and CoachingMoney Matters
In the Money Matters program, we combine financial literacy programs, delivered in partnership with local banking institutions, and individualized financial coaching provided by fully trained and certified staff drawn from Essex County’s five Community Action Agencies.
By integrating financial literacy workshops and one-on-one financial coaching, the Money Matters Program provides a range of services that not only builds financial knowledge, but also is focused on developing the kinds of plans and behaviors that will foster long-term financial security. The aim of the program is to improve participants’ financial wellbeing, and help improve credit scores, and net worth.
The program includes a total of 12 hours of engagement – six hours of coaching and six hours of workshops, delivered over a number of weeks, and scheduled to be accessible for busy families.
This program is delivered fully online on a county-wide basis, allowing us to leverage resources across the five agency. We can provide devices and support to ensure participants can get the most from the program.
Financial Literacy and CoachingBudget Buddies
We also partner with Budget Buddies to offer their intensive empowerment programming. The Budget Buddies program is unique in its attention to the specific needs of women from low-income backgrounds, inclusion of a significant mentoring component, and sustained length. Women in the programs learn how to eat nutritiously on a budget, save for larger expenses, and protect themselves against fraud.
This program leverages volunteer coaches who serve as personal mentors and customize assistance to each client. Each coach works solely with one participant every week to address her unique money-management goals and challenges. Budget Buddies can be offered in English and Spanish.
Like Money Matters, the program is delivered fully online on a county-wide basis, allowing us to leverage resources across the five agencies. We can provide devices and support to ensure participants get the most from the program.
Food skills education–practical education for individuals to purchase and prepare foods that meet their nutrition, budget, and personal needs–can be a lifeline for families struggling with hunger. Through our partnership with Cooking Matters, we offer workshops taught by a team of facilitators with expertise in cooking and nutrition, covering topics like meal preparation, grocery shopping, food budgeting, and nutrition. Participants receive gift cards to purchase groceries and practice the skills they learned in class. The Cooking Matters Program is available in English and Spanish.
Car Buyer’s Workshop
Buying a car can be a stressful experience. Getting the right car at the right price (and the right financing to go with it!) is a lot of pressure, especially when it is a necessity to get to work or transport your family. Our Car Buyer’s Workshop is here to help, providing expert input from former car salespeople, mechanics, insurance companies and lenders. With their guidance you can be sure you are getting the best deal for you and your family.
First Time Homebuyer Education
First Time Homebuyer classes are available for residents who are interested in purchasing their first home. The classes are offered over three nights and total 9 hours. The program is certified by the Massachusetts Citizens Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) and Mass Housing and includes training in obtaining a mortgage, budgeting, credit, housing search, appraisals, condominium purchase, legal issues, insurance, housing law, tax advantages, home inspection, and many other topics related to home purchase. Residents who receive First Time Homebuyer Certification may be eligible for special financing programs and housing lotteries.