FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 15, 2015
CONTACT: Shenell Thompson
COMMUNITY LAUNCHES THE POINT, A MOBILE FINANCIAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING VEHICLE, IN EFFORTS TO INCREASE FINANCIAL STABILITY
Winston-Salem, NC ….. Forsyth County took a giant step forward today in efforts to increase the financial stability of low and moderate income families. After months of design and planning, The POINT- a mobile financial education and training vehicle- was officially launched.
The POINT resembles a bus on the outside but inside it has all the tools necessary to help families access to mainstream financial services, receive debt and credit counseling, get tax preparation and employment assistance, and learn how to build assets and financial stability. This mobile unit will allow service providers to reach those areas of the community where services are needed most and where transportation is often a barrier to obtaining financial services.
The POINT is the collaborative work of United Way of Forsyth County, Financial Pathways of the Piedmont, Experiment in Self-Reliance (ESR), and Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina and was funded through a grant by Wells Fargo. As part of a commitment to help its customers succeed financially and strengthen the communities it serves, Wells Fargo selected the United Way of Forsyth County as one of eight local United Ways in key markets that received a three-year, $300,000 grant. The grants were aimed at promoting financial capability of low- and moderate- income households through access to educational programs and services.
“I’m so proud to see what a significant impact our initial investment had on the Winston-Salem community and pleased that this effort is being expanded to reach even more families in need of financial literacy and assistance programs,” said Leslie Hayes, Wells Fargo’s Business Banking division manager for the Carolinas. “One of Wells Fargo’s top priorities is to help our customers make responsible money management decisions in order to build a productive and stable future, and a valuable resource like The POINT will empower them to do just that.”
In recognition of the value The POINT brings to the community, Mayor Allen Joines of Winston-Salem issued a proclamation declaring January 15, 2015 as “The POINT Day”. “We are very grateful to have such a powerful tool as The POINT to help us address the root causes of poverty in our community,” said Mayor Joines. “With almost 1 in 5 of our residents living in poverty, it is critical to develop creative ways to help our families succeed and Winston-Salem to remain a thriving economic environment.”
Community residents and organizations can find out more about The POINT, including the schedule and how to request The POINT, by visiting financialpaths.org/the-point/.
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About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.6 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 locations, 12,500 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2014 rankings of America’s largest corporations. In 2013, the Company invested $275.5 million in grants to 18,500 nonprofits, and team members contributed more than 1.69 million volunteer hours around the country. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives and stories are also available at blogs.wellsfargo.com and at wellsfargo.com/stories.
About United Way of Forsyth County
United Way of Forsyth County believes quality of life relies on three building blocks—education, financial stability, and health. All three are critical and interdependent to the collective success of our community. United Way of Forsyth County changes the community by aligning resources and strategic partners to achieve measurable, lasting results. We invest in improving student success and the high school graduation rate, increasing financial stability among lower-income individuals and families, broadening access to health care and prescription medications to the un- and under-insured, and providing critical assistance to those facing immediate crisis. Learn more about our work at ForsythUnitedWay.org.
About Financial Pathways of the Piedmont
Financial Pathways of the Piedmont is local nonprofit agency that has served the Winston Salem area and surrounding communities for more than forty years. Last year we helped more than 10,000 clients. Nearly 28,000 clients and their spouses, children, and other household members directly benefited from Financial Pathways’ programs. Many Piedmont communities have been deeply hurt by the economic recession and housing crisis. Today, in nearly every indicator of financial health, households in the Winston-Salem area fall below the national average. Many of us teeter on the edge of financial instability. In spite of hard work and their best efforts, families find themselves limited by asset poverty, troubled by bad credit, or threatened with foreclosure. This stresses parents, puts children at risk, and robs seniors of a peaceful retirement. Financial Pathways believes that every individual and family deserves the opportunity to achieve financial well-being. We can help, visit us at financialpaths.org.
About Experiment in Self-Reliance (ESR)
Experiment in Self-Reliance’s (ESR) mission is to empower “working low-income” and “chronically homeless” individuals and families to achieve their full potential for long-term social and economic self-reliance. ESR consists of four core programs: Self-Sufficiency, Housing, New Century IDA (Individual Development Account), and EITC/VITA (Earned Income Tax Credit/Volunteer Income Tax Credit, or Forsyth Free Tax). Self-Sufficiency Program is conducted through intensive case management and allows each client to develop income goals through continued education, counseling, network building, and asset building. The Housing Program, in collaboration with other agencies in the Winston-Sale/Forsyth County area, assists the working homeless in stabilizing their employment, housing, financial, familial, and psychological circumstances. New Century IDA (Individual Development Account) focuses on helping families build their assets and achieve homeownership by providing coaching, a comprehensive program of financial education, and matched savings programs. Forsyth Free Tax leads the Forsyth Working Families Partnership, a collaboration that provides free tax preparation for low to moderate income families at sites throughout Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. For more information, visit eisr.org.
About Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina, Inc.
Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina creates opportunities for people to enhance their lives through training, workforce development services and collaboration with other community organizations. Services include skills training classes; youth services; employment services for veterans, persons with disabilities and previously incarcerated individuals; and personalized career services for entry to professional level job seekers. Programs are largely funded through the sale of donated items in Goodwill’s retail stores. Each year, Goodwill transforms donations of clothing, household items, electronics, and furniture into employment and training services that help over 36,000 people in northwest North Carolina. For more information, visit www.goodwillnwnc.org.