Economic Empowerment Hub
Financial security is one of the most critical challenges facing households. Making it difficult for individuals and families to get ahead and improve other facets of their lives. Almost half of the households in the United States do not have enough cash reserves to cover three months of basic expenses if they experience financial hardship. While people seek services to help them meet essential and immediate needs—a safe place to sleep, food for their children, money to cover the heating bill—these needs are interconnected with financial issues, such as income instability, lack of emergency savings, or burdensome debt. Free financial coaching, asset building, and changes in housing and employment policies within local organizations are a few of the components of the economic empowerment work of HEAL. In addition to ensuring that residents are taken care of now, we want to help create a path to long-term financial stability. HEAL Collaborative challenges existing inequalities of wealth and power to reduce poverty for families and Winchendon as a whole. As the adage goes, “If you give a person a fish they eat for a day. If you teach a person to fish they eat for life.”
We work with residents one-on-one to build financial capability, defined as the capacity, based on knowledge, skills, and access, to manage financial resources effectively.
Many of us have the skills, but we can’t afford the necessary tools or access the resources and opportunities. We will all look at the systems that are fueling poverty and work to change them with local institutions.