Through a partnership between Resident Resources Network, First Commonwealth Bank, Financial Compass Foundation, and OSU Extension, residents of targeted Wallick Communities properties have had the chance to participate, for free, in the pilot of the Financial Wellness for All (FWA) program. When it comes to money, every penny matters, and the FWA program aims to help residents think differently about how they spend their money so that they achieve greater levels of housing and financial stability. The program targets residents who are at risk of eviction and works with them to find financial resources to alleviate the eviction and be educated on alternative ways to manage their finances going forward. It is also open to residents who are not risk of eviction and simply have interest in improving their financial lives.
Residents who enroll attend a virtual 1-hour Intro to Financial Wellness session via Zoom, in the comfort of their own homes. All participants are given a pre-test to gauge what they already know and a post-test to determine what they learned. Those who complete the session but did not receive rental or utility assistance via the help of a Service Coordinator can receive a $50 rent voucher to apply towards their rent to help with housing stability. Residents who want to learn more about improving their financial wellness, there are an additional four 1-hour webinars that go deeper into the four topics covered in the introductory session (i.e., Budgeting, Savings, Credit, and Owning a Business). Those who complete all four of the additional sessions receive a completion incentive of $100 that is applied towards their rent or used to open a savings account, and they become eligible to attend a 1-hour financial coaching session with a Financial Compass Foundation advisor for guidance on how to achieve their individual financial goals.
Another major component of the FWA program that residents can take advantage of is the matched savings. This program component entails helping residents who save money towards specific financial goals get their savings matched either 1:1 or 1:3, dependng on the savings goal. Providing the match encourages residents to save and helps them to achieve their financial goals quicker and easier.
Overall, the FWA program opens the door to opportunities. It offers residents a chance at greater financial security. It also provides tools for planning at every stage of life. We are excited about the program’s potential and look forward to it helping residents achieve goals that support a healthier, relatively stress-free relationship with finances.