We would like to thank First National Bank for their ongoing support of our Economic Opportunity Initiatives! Their most recent $25,000 investment will support the continued growth of the Pittsburgh Financial Empowerment Center during 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought on or significantly worsened many financial obstacles for our community members. In May of 2020, the Pittsburgh Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) implemented a COVID assessment during all client sessions to understand the impact on clients’ financial situations and to determine which specific supports provided by the FEC would be most beneficial. Half of all clients responded they had been affected. Of those, 86% reported a reduction in income; 50% worried about covering expenses next month; and 54% applied for additional benefits. With the support of First National Bank, the Financial Empowerment Center, among Neighborhood Allies’ other Economic Opportunity initiatives, had tremendous impact on the Pittsburgh community, even in the midst of intersecting challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through free, one-on-one appointments, FEC counselors were uniquely positioned to respond to the array of challenges. They helped their clients to prioritize and budget stimulus payments; review and understand their credit reports; avoid fraud and scams; understand COVID-19 impact on student loans; rework monthly budgets due to income change; build emergency and future savings; call about options for utilities, credit cards, and other payments; defer or refinance home mortgage; access the Paycheck Protection Program and other small business loans and resources; and connect with community providers and support programs.
In 2020 the Financial Empowerment Center:
Served 602 clients in 1,657 sessions;
Achieved 979 client outcomes;
Increased total savings by $831,762; and
Reduced debt by a total of $682,974.
In 2021, the FEC continues to attract new clients and serve existing clients as financial struggles persist due to the ongoing pandemic. Thank you, First National Bank, for continuing to support our initiatives and help us to ensure that residents have the opportunity to reach financial wellness, even amid COVID-19.
Our work would not be possible without the support of funders like First National Bank. Thank you for your continued commitment and support of our mission to support the people, organizations and partnerships committed to creating and maintaining healthy neighborhoods!