Delaware program helps residents with finances (video)

    Linda Hunter Moss (L) and Stand by Me counselor

    Linda Hunter Moss (L) and Stand by Me counselor

    Created by Governor Jack Markell, Stand By Me offers financial classes and education helping Delaware families with their finances.

    In May, Stand By Me, the non-profit financial organization created by Governor Jack Markell, recently celebrated its 5th year of helping Delaware families with their finances.

    Stand By Me Director, Mary Dupont, said the program is necessary because so many people are coping with financial difficulties.

    “There’s a large segment of the country that continues to struggle to make ends meet, and they’re doing everything right. They have the same dreams and hopes that we all do for the American Dream, but it doesn’t make sense that so many people work hard, and struggle to pay the bills, and struggle to reach those aspirations in life.”

    Thanks to a partnership with the State of Delaware, the United Way and various other community and non-profit organizations, Stand By Me is able to offer financial classes, free of charge to Delaware residents.

    Linda Hunter Moss, a childcare provider at the West End Center in Wilmington turned to Stand By Me to help her prepare for homeownership. Moss started the process of reviewing her credit score and calculating debt on her own, but thought additional help would be useful.

    “When I started [with] Stand By Me, I met my counselor, and she gave me more tips on how to pay things off, how to contact creditors, pay [bills] in full, or make an offer to pay it off without it negatively affecting me,” Moss said. The counseling also boosted her confidence and made her feel that she wasn’t alone.

    Moss’ counselor, Sharikka Frisby, travels across Delaware to meet with clients. She has more than 200 customers she works with. The sessions can run anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and clients can work with coaches for as long as needed to remedy their financial dilemma.

    Frisby said there is no one reason why customers reach out to Stand By Me for help. Regardless of what brings a person in for financial coaching, she said the most important thing is listening and helping them understand that they can overcome this hardship, but it’s going to take perseverance and patience.

    Moss’ persistency paid off this summer when she became a first-time homebuyer. The counseling sessions also helped her rein in some poor spending habits that will undoubtedly prove useful in her financial future.

    Moss is glad she overcame her apprehension to reach out for help and encourages others to not be ashamed, “If you don’t ask for help, you’ll never have it. There are people out there who can put you in the right place to get you what you want to have.”

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