City of Columbus Launches Financial Empowerment Center
Shannon Ginther and Columbus City Council President Pro Tempore Elizabeth C.
Brown today announced the launch of the Columbus Financial Empowerment Center (FEC), which provides free financial counseling
with licensed professionals for all Columbus-area adults. The Columbus FEC is
supported by the national Cities
for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) and managed in partnership with Jewish Family Services.
“A financially stable
individual is better positioned to earn a wage that supports their household,
recover from a crisis more quickly and pay less than 30% of their monthly
income to live in the neighborhood of their choice,” said First Lady Ginther.
“With financial stability comes opportunity and peace of mind, and I look
forward to seeing the FEC strengthen our community and improve quality of life across
The Columbus FEC offers
one-on-one counseling sessions for individuals age 18 and older to learn and
expand core financial skills such as opening a bank account, increasing credit
scores, navigating loans, negotiating with creditors, increasing savings, planning
for major purchases and more. Participants will have the option to schedule
follow-up appointments with the same financial counselor to build trust,
strengthen continuity and better ensure a personalized experience.
Empowerment Center is a perfect example of what is possible when the public and
nonprofit sectors come together. The city and our partners at Jewish Family
Services identified an area needing improvement and took the steps needed to
correct this shortfall,” said Council President Tempore Brown. “This counseling
will give our residents another state-of-the-art resource at their disposal that’ll
give them the confidence they need to continue to strive for holistic success.
This counseling and the individualized plan each client will be provided with
will serve as a roadmap for them to achieve financial prosperity.”
First piloted in New York City under Mayor
Bloomberg in 2008, Financial Empowerment Centers have since expanded nationwide
and worked with over 133,000 clients to reduce individual debt by over $192
million and increase family savings by close to $38 million. Columbus is one of
dozen local governments working to
launch a local center.
“Local leaders know firsthand the
connection between family financial stability and community financial stability
– and this connection is especially important during the current crisis,” said Jonathan
Mintz, president and CEO of the CFE Fund. “Columbus
is part of a growing national movement to bring free, high-quality financial
counseling as a public service to their residents; we are proud to partner with
the city to help residents navigate the financial impact of COVID-19 and work
toward a stronger financial future.”
Year one of the
Columbus FEC is supported by a $150,000 grant from the CFE Fund and $150,000
from the city’s general fund. Subsequent years of the program will receive up
to $100,000 from the CFE Fund and a 1:2 match from the city.
More information about the
Columbus FEC can be found at www.columbusfec.org or by calling (614) 237-9675.
the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund):
The CFE Fund supports municipal
efforts to improve the financial stability of households by leveraging
opportunities unique to local government. By translating cutting-edge
experience with large-scale programs, research and policy in cities of all
sizes, the CFE Fund assists mayors and other local leaders to identify,
develop, fund, implement and research pilots and programs that help families
build assets and make the most of their financial resources. The CFE Fund is
currently working in over 100 cities and has disbursed over $59 million to city
governments and their partners to support these efforts. For more information,
please visit www.cfefund.org
or follow them on Twitter at @CFEFund.