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Community Roundup: The Kirkbride Center, Gaudenzia, Philadelphia Job Corps, and more

Jan 30, 2020

In addition to being a valuable asset within the walls of the credit union, PFCU’s Accredited Financial Counselor Erin Ellis goes the extra mile by traveling to various organizations to foster financial education and financial literacy within the communities PFCU serves. Below is a roundup of organizations she visited this January, as well as organizations that she will visit on a regular basis throughout the year.

The Kirkbride Center

Once a month, Ellis visits the Kirkbride Center to host a financial education seminar for about 100 people in their short-term in-patient drug and alcohol treatment program, alternating topics between Credit, Avoiding Fraud, and Introduction to Personal Finance. The Kirkbride Center is a licensed 270-bed comprehensive behavioral health care facility that provides a variety of addiction services.

Ellis also collaborates with the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC) to facilitate six sessions of Financial Advancement Network (FAN) Clubs to a small group at the Kirkbride Center. FAN Clubs are groups of 5-20 people who commit to meeting on a regular basis to improve their money management habits, rectify troubled financial situations, and pursue their financial goals.

Gaudenzia

Every 1-2 months, Ellis visits the Gaudenzia House of Passage – a 100-bed facility for single women that provides supportive services including a computer lab, educational and vocational services, and community building events – to discuss ways to overcome barriers to housing such as credit, fraud, and saving.

And for the first time, Ellis visited Gaudenzia Tioga Arms – an affordable housing complex – this month to offer individuals an Introduction to Banking and Savings.

Philadelphia Job Corps

Almost every Wednesday, Ellis visits Philadelphia Job Corps, a no-cost education and career technical training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that helps young people ages 16 to 24 improve the quality of their lives through career technical and academic training. At the Philadelphia Job Corps Life Science Institute, PFCU supports the Job Corps program’s mission to teach eligible young people the skills they need to become employable and independent in addition to placing them in meaningful jobs or on the path to higher education.

Ellis meets students in an intro class to discuss checking and savings accounts as well as enroll them in PFCU accounts (if they are interested). She also answers any personal finance questions and helps individuals to troubleshoot account questions, which is especially useful for this group because it offers them a safe space and familiar face to ask any and all questions they might have.

Depaul House

Depaul USA’s first program, Depaul House, is a 27-room transitional housing facility for men in Philadelphia. This innovative program utilizes an employment-focused approach to achieve systemic change and break the cycle of poverty by working with people who are living on the margins and integrating them into the community.

There, Ellis works with people experiencing homelessness to access their credit reports, which is valuable to them since many landlords check credit. If people are interested, PFCU will also help develop a savings plan for a security deposit, or spending plan for living independently.

Achieving Reunification Center (ARC)

At ARC, a one-stop support center that assists parents in overcoming barriers toward family reunification, Ellis hosts a monthly seminar with a rotating personal finance topic. Ellis offers valuable insight to parents and caregivers who are required to complete this seminar as part of their court ordered requirements for their children returning home from out-of-home placement.

JEVS Project WoW (World of Work) at Orleans Technical College

Ellis offers a two-part seminar at Project WoW , a free program that offers 24-weeks of skills training, job placement assistance, and GED test preparation to help individuals who want to get their lives back on track. During the seminar, Ellis and attendees do a deep dive on early years of having credit, banking, spending, saving, and a little bit of everything else.

Lincoln Technical Institute

Ellis speaks to many of the introduction classes at Lincoln Tech about credit and student loans. Occasionally, Ellis sets up a table to open accounts if students are interested and answer personal finance questions.

Students in Lincoln Tech’s Automotive training program receive comprehensive instruction from ASE-certified instructors that guide them through the inner-workings of engines, parts, fuel, emissions systems, drivability issues, diagnostics, air bag diagnosis, transmissions, drive lines, and more.

Community Learning Center (CLC)

During each cycle of GED classes, Ellis hosts two seminars at the CLC’s North and West Philly locations; one is geared toward Spending and Savings Plans and the other is geared toward Credit. The CLC’s mission is to help low-income adults in Philadelphia gain academic and employment skills so that they can realize their fullest potential both at home and in the workforce. The CLC provides free adult basic education, high school equivalency preparation (GED® and HiSET® tests), workforce preparation, and English as a second language (ESL) classes and tutoring. Ellis primarily works with the GED and HiSET students, but often sees the ESL students as well.

Community Learning Center’s West Philadelphia Ellis with a group of students at the Community Learning Center’s West Philadelphia location.

We love supporting our communities by connecting with local residents across the greater Philadelphia region. Check out our social pages for upcoming events and to get involved!

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