Increasing debt… declining savings…mounting bills… more and more Delawareans are facing financial troubles, but now there’s a place to turn for one-on-one coaching, free of charge.
The $tand by Me financial empowerment partnership is underway at the Hudson State Service Center in Newark, with plans to bring it to more locations statewide.
“This program provides clients with long term financial coaching to help them to achieve their financial goals,” United Way of Delaware President and CEO Michelle Taylor says.
In addition to the state and United Way, the program relies upon many volunteers who are willing to share their own financial skills and expertise.
One volunteer coach, Craig Sparacino, says in addition to having some financial knowledge, it’s important for a volunteer to be “a people person, help them understand what their goals are, and help draw out what many thoughts may be going around in peoples’ minds and help them figure out what their priorities are.”
Terry Casson-Ferguson of Wilmington appreciated the approach of someone “standing by her” rather than directing her what to do. She says $tand by Me counseling helped her deal with the bills, focus on budgeting, and create more savings.
It also taught her that “writing things down” was important.
“That collaboration helps us do what we need to do,” Casson-Ferguson says.
The West End Neighborhood House of Wilmington is administering the local $tand by Me program, which is getting support from the Citi Foundation and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.
“$tand by me gives people the tools that they need, to understand their financial challenges, the support they need to develop a plan to address those challenges, and of course the confidence they need to achieve their goals” says Delaware Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf.
According to Governor Markell, “when more Delawareans are empowered to start small businesses, get a college education, save for a rainy day or achieve other financial goals… that makes our economy stronger and moves our state forward.”
The program is open to all Delawareans, and also welcomes more volunteers.
CLICK HERE to find out more or call 302-283-5562.