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Volume 13, Issue 3, 2013   Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

United Way THRIVE Focuses on Financial Goals


Mark, who was unable to get ahead financially while raising two children, earned his GED and welding certification with the help of United Way THRIVE and found a job making twice his previous salary.

The United Way THRIVE program’s strategy is to help individuals and families reach their financial objectives through asset-building efforts, using a three-pronged system. The strategy has been successful for many participants, as seen in three examples showcased in the program literature [1]:

  • Increasing income—Individuals and families can secure better-paying jobs through workforce opportunities provided by United Way THRIVE.

    Mark’s story: Living paycheck to paycheck while raising two daughters, Mark decided to make a change by getting a general educational development (GED) certificate and signing up for a United Way THRIVE job training program. He acquired his GED and a welding certification and is now earning twice what he did before.

  • Building savings—Building a safety net through savings helps United Way THRIVE families attain goals. Financial education, coaching and access to matched savings programs can help families save.

    Daisy’s story: This single parent lost her job, but with the help of United Way THRIVE, Daisy got her resume together, improved her interviewing skills and acquired professional clothing. She was able to land a job making 40 percent more than before and then enrolled in an Individual Development Account, or IDA, which is a matched savings account. With this money, plus her refund through the free income tax program, Daisy started saving toward buying a home.

  • Acquiring assets—Often, LMI individuals have a hard time establishing credit to start or expand a small business. Through United Way THRIVE and the partners offering various credit-builder loans and microloans, small businesses can find hope.

    Lucy and Pedro’s story: Lucy and Pedro needed credit repair to expand their transportation company so that their income would be sufficient to support their family. Through a 2-1-1-Texas/United Way HELPLINE specialist, the couple was referred to United Way THRIVE, which worked with them by providing a financial coach. They received a credit-builder loan and later were approved for a microloan to expand their small business. The financial coach helped Lucy and Pedro maintain their budget, pay back loans and set goals.

Notes

  1. See United Way THRIVE brochure, 2013off-site.

e-Perspectives, Volume 13, Issue 3, 2013

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