Today, the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) announced its Financial Empowerment Center program has been selected as a demonstration site for Bridges to Financial Security by the National Disability Institute (NDI). Bridges to Financial Security (“Bridges”) represents a large investment through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to NDI and its subcontractors to provide financial education services to individuals with disabilities who are transitioning into the workforce to increase their financial literacy and help them proactively take control of their finances at crucial moments in their lives.
“I am proud that we are able to leverage the successes of the Financial Empowerment Center into greater investments that will expand financial literacy training to disabled populations,” said John Okamoto, HSD Interim Director. “Addressing financial literacy and stability of vulnerable populations is critical to building and sustaining healthy communities and is consistent with consistent with Mayor Murray’s bold affordability agenda for increasing the overall livability of our city.”
This designation will allow the Financial Empowerment Center, a collaboration between the City of Seattle, and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and Neighborhood House, and the Washington Access Fund, to provide financial coaching for people with disabilities.
The Financial Empowerment Center is a unique public-private partnership seeks to alleviate poverty in the region by helping vulnerable Seattleites gain fundamental financial skills. The center provides free, professional, one-on-one financial education, counseling, and coaching to help people to become financially stable. The Financial Empowerment Center also connects clients with other services such as, tax preparation, enrollment into health insurance, legal advice for financial problems, housing, and foreclosures.
Residents of Seattle and surrounding areas are encouraged to participate and there are no income or other eligibility criteria. However, many clients are referrals from housing, homeless-serving, employment and training, education, family centers, immigrant and refugee, citizenship, domestic violence, public health, and other human and social services programs.
Financial Counselors are bilingual and speak Vietnamese, Spanish, Hindi, Nepalese and Somali.
To learn more about the HSD’s Financial Empowerment Center visit the Neighborhood House website.
The Human Services Department funds and operates programs and services that meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in our community – families and individuals with low incomes, children, domestic violence and sexual assault victims, homeless people, seniors, and persons with disabilities. We invest in programs that help people gain independence and success.