July 20, 2011
First Free Financial Ed Classes in Paterson through the Financial Empowerment Zone are a Success
|Paterson, NJ— The United Way of Passaic County (UWPC), in collaboration with various nonprofit, government and financial institutions, completed the first two in a series of free financial ed and financial literacy classes for local residents. The Financial Empowerment Zone (FEZ) brings awareness and helps to empower the community to increase personal incomes, become financially stable and achieve long term economic independence by learning from experts.
On June 28 at Passaic County Community College Technology Center, St. Paul's CDC joined with UWPC on a workshop focusing on strategies to manage your tax burden. 25 students learning about tips and strategies for understanding tax forms, resolving IRS disputes, financial planning and identity theft. Dynamic instructors included Debbie Chapman, from the IRS, Sally Sattan, tax attorney with Northeast New Jersey Legal Services and Addison Hardy, CPA.
The evening prior, on June 27, local residents attended the Keeping the Homeownership Dream Alive in Paterson sponsored by the Paterson Alliance.
Concerned Parents of Head Start, Habitat for Humanity, Northeast New Jersey Legal Services, Dedicated toEqual Justice for All, NACA Housing Counseling, Northeast New Jersey Legal Services, NJ Home Mortgage Finance Agency and Paterson Housing Authority joined with UWPC. Attendees heard why Paterson is a great place to live and how to become a homeowner including what programs make homeownership a financially good investment. Also available was a session on foreclosure prevention for those who wanted to stay in their homes and to learn about programs available to assist them. The free workshops were in both English and Spanish.
The Financial Empowerment Zone is hosting more classes throughout the summer and encourages local residents to sign up through the FEZ website www.earn-save-do.org or by calling UWPC at 973 279 8900.
“The ideas for many of these workshops came out of the surveys completed by our FEZ clients” said Leslie Schlesinger program manager, “our hope is that the community takes advantage of the valuable lessons to boost personal savings and create long term financial stability.”
- August 2 Credit in Spanish by New Jersey Citizen Action
- August 8 Consumer Issues, Debt Collection and Bankruptcy provided by Northeast NJ Legal Services.
“Developing a set of skills and a knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions through their understanding of finances would go a long way in helping working families increase their income, build savings and focus on long term financial independence” Yvonne Zuidema, CEO of UWPC explained, “ coupled with the free tax preparation services, benefits screening offered by the FEZ, these financial literacy workshops will help bring the tools to the local Passaic County community that need it most.”