Across Michigan, 43% of households struggle to afford the basic necessities of housing, child care, food, technology, health care, and transportation. This data comes from the United Way’s ALICE Report, but CEDAM also hears this anecdotally from members around the state who are working hard to create affordable housing, increase child care options, and train job seekers for industries with high demand.
We know that people make tough financial decisions everyday, and that it can be hard to feel hopeful about long-term financial goals such as paying down debt, purchasing an asset such as a car or home, and paying for college.
This is why CEDAM started Show Me The Money Day (SMTMD), a free public event that features free and low-cost financial products, community resources, financial workshops, and fun. Events take place throughout Michigan from January to April. They serve as a kick-off to tax season and promote opportunities to increase income, save, and build assets. Last year, more than 2,500 Michiganders attended a SMTMD event and community partners provided more than 145 financial workshops. Most importantly, 72% of surveyed participants reported feeling more hopeful about their financial future after attending Show Me the Money Day.
Members of CEDAM’s AmeriCorps State program provide vital support in organizing and running SMTMD events. They recruit vendors and presenters, solicit donations, secure venues, and assist with overall planning.
“We were able to put on two Show Me The Money Day events and to provide financial education to agency staff that work with low income families,” said AmeriCorps member supervisor, Mary Frontiero. “Having an AmeriCorps member built capacity, furthered our reach in the community, and enhanced our financial empowerment activities. We are delighted to have Macomb Community Action as a host site again this year.”
Check out this year’s event at the Macomb County Family Resource Center in Mt. Clemens on March 21st from 10am – 2pm.
In addition to supporting SMTMD, members of CEDAM’s AmeriCorps State program increase capacity in other ways through direct service. They do things like host financial education workshops, prepare taxes for VITA participants, and work directly with Michigan residents to sign them up for MI Bridges.
With a new, lower and sliding-scale host site fee and expanded member activity options, CEDAM’s AmeriCorps program might be a good fit for you. We’re currently looking for new host sites across the state. Find out more here.