Faith & Finances is financial literacy training for extreme poverty settings. We have expanded the number of agencies and churches utilizing this curriculum which is designed for especially vulnerable people. Last June our trainers skillfully prepared our 69th facilitator, 44 of them to serve Fresno Neighborhoods, and equipping them to lead Faith & Finances courses in one of Fresno’s extreme poverty neighborhoods. These courses do more than cover good financial practices, practices never heard of by these residents – they deal with issues specific to poor neighborhoods, like avoiding predatory lending, like how to avoid the high corner store prices, banks versus check cashing stores, etc. And they deal with the heart issues and relational implications of money problems.
Evangel Home (pictured) recently graduated a class of women who completed the program with ways to avoid predatory lending practices, how to budget, the difference between good credit and bad, and many life solutions. We have begun programs at the Valley Dream Center and Fellowship of Joy church as well.
This fall I attended the graduation of a F&F class at Hope Lutheran Church. Lucy, one of the graduates told me that before the class she and her family had been homeless, but through the class they had stabilized their lives. She glowed with the pride of having achieved her own solutions, and she grabbed the hand of her daughter next to her and her blind husband at her other side, and said, “Thank you for bringing this program here.” Lucy is why what we do matters.