CEDAM’s national partner NACEDA, along with several other organizations, hosted the People & Places Conference in Washington D.C. March 4-6 bringing together community-based organizations from every corner of the country to showcase the effectiveness, resolve and passion of those working daily to improve lives in America’s most challenged neighborhoods. This was an opportunity to share what’s working in your community, inspire one another and raise your voice on behalf of the community that you serve. Thanks to NACEDA, we were able to provide scholarship assistance to four CEDAM members to attend. Over the next few weeks, we will hear from each of those members about their experiences at the conference in this blog series.

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The third in the four part series is by Char Seise, the Neighborhood Development Coordinator with the City of Grand Haven

People & Places

by Char Seise

Have you ever tried to live within your means? If so, you’ll know that it is difficult because the kids get sick, the car breaks down or that old bill collector finds your new phone number. Maybe you have never had this experience personally, but many of the clients we work with struggle daily regarding their finances. So, what do you do? Many have found success in budget counseling through a local non-profit agency. But experience has shown budget counseling is different than Financial Coaching.

Financial Coaching is the process of working one on one with a qualified professional financial advocate that can help a person understand their finances in a way that will prepare them for making financial decisions for a lifetime. Financial Empowerment Coaches work with individuals to establish goals for savings, debt reduction, improving credit and evaluating financial products.

At the People and Places conference, I had the opportunity to present with other panelists from LISC and NEIGHBORWORKS about the value of integrating Financial Coaching services into existing programs and services. All clients that participate in the City of Grand Haven’s programs are expected to meet with a financial empowerment coach and establish their individual financial goals. Whether looking for down payment assistance to purchase a home or dealing with a financial crisis, residents within our county have access to FREE, personalized one on one coaching to set them up for achieving their financial goals.

Thank you NACEDA for the opportunity to meet other professionals that care about their communities and for bringing us all together to learn, grow and be inspired to continue this work and make a difference in our communities!

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