Bakersfield, California 2021-09-19 18:00:00 –
Nancy Strom always earned a stable income and paid her bills on time.
However, she soon became disabled and quit her job. Stromm’s savings were exhausted and she became homeless and moved to the M Street Navigation Center in June, run by Khan’s Community Action Partnership with the county.
“I was embarrassed,” Strom said. “I have never been homeless.”
She wanted skills in budgeting, savings, and other good financial habits. Strom took this opportunity through a series of financial workshops that began in September and continued through December and was held in collaboration with CapK and Chase Bank.
The course’s teacher, ChaseBank Shontay Smith-Sweeney’s community manager, said ChaseBank promised $ 30 billion in June 2020 to promote racial equality. The Bakersfield branch sought to teach residents, business owners, and future homebuyers financial literacy to invest in the community.
“It doesn’t matter what your background is, it doesn’t matter if you’re low to medium income,” Smith-Sweeney said. “It’s about getting an education.”
Smith-Sweeney grew up at Bakersfield’s Housing Corporation and was a single mother. Community bank managers have directly witnessed the impact of limited budgets. She aims to ensure that children avoid their financial mistakes. This fact, along with a love for education, motivated her to create these courses.
First class began on September 1st and taught six M Street Navigation Center residents about savings accounts and budgets.
Classes are held weekly in September. From October to December, two classes will be centered around interviews, resume preparation and other financial topics, according to Smith Sweeney.
Jennifer Wright, a resident of M Street, said she had never learned how to budget. When Wright used a credit card before, she often forgot her invoice and overdraft fees. Class attendees are approaching retirement age and are trying to plan her future by learning these skills.
“It’s a virtuous cycle for me,” Wright said. “I want you to stop”
James Burger, CapK’s outreach and advocacy coordinator, said these classes were in line with the Center’s mission statement to provide homeless people with tools to help rebuild their lives. Schools rarely teach financial literacy, and its importance is not publicly understood, he added.
For example, Smith-Sweeney said that 52% of people across the country don’t have $ 500 or aren’t enough to repair a car if it breaks down. She said many myths about credit have spread, causing irresponsible behavior about financial decisions.
“The best aspect of my work is to see someone come in and their eyes rejuvenate with tears because I was able to actually give them some light at the end of the tunnel. “Smith-Sweeney said.
At the end of the class, Strom learned her mistakes. She blamed herself for spending about $ 1,000 a month on food. The class covered how to manage money better and reminded her of an old lesson she had forgotten. One day, Strom wants to have his own apartment.
“It was like a wake-up call to be smarter,” Strom said. “I will never-God will help me-I will never be here again.”
You can reach Ishanidesai at 661-395-7417. You can also follow her on Twitter @ idesai98.
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