HELPING FAMILIES FROM CRISES TO FINANCIAL STABILITY
AmeriCorps members serve at local sites where they work with families across the financial stability spectrum of need. By acting as Family Navigators, they seek to address the current economic hardships of the Tri-County area by leveraging the unique strengths of the Trident United Way system and its community partners to make a difference in the lives of people.
AmeriCorps members build capacity for the host site organization to be able to provide financial stability services to its clients through collaboration, leveraging of resources and getting measurable results. Here are some of the ways we continue to GET THINGS DONE:
ADDRESS BASIC NEEDS
By using tools like Charity Tracker*, navigators can conduct intake interviews and utilize the SafetyNet Assistance Network to make referrals to community agencies for items such as food, clothing, emergency assistance and shelter.
SC THRIVE (THE BENEFIT BANK TOOL)
Navigators become trained SC Thrive Benefit Bank counselors in order to complete client eligibility applications for state and federal benefits that help meet critical needs. They are also able to provide free tax filing services for eligible clients, helping them to gain access to necessary tax credits that are often vital in becoming financially stable.
INCREASE BASIC SKILLS
Once out of crisis, navigators work with clients to increase basic financial literacy skills. Understanding the cycle of poverty, and the barriers associated, is necessary in order to build self-sufficiency and empower clients to move beyond the frenzied space of financial instability. Members provide 1-on-1 budgeting sessions as well as offer financial literacy workshops to the community.
In order to increase the financial stability of individuals and families, many clients need to increase their income. Members have knowledge of resources in their area for workforce development. They help clients who are unemployed or underemployed connect to agencies and organizations that can offer industry-specific and soft skills in order to achieve stable employment.
MORE ABOUT OUR PROGRAM SUPPORTS:
*CharityTracker is an online tool used by 350 local agencies and churches. Client information is stored and made available to all agencies and churches in order to efficiently provide services, share information and mitigate the burden of client transportation.
The Benefit Bank is a web-based screening tool that simplifies and centralizes the process of applying for many state and federal benefits for low and moderate-income individuals and families. The Benefit Bank is a part of a community-wide response to poverty and can be utilized by a wide range of community service providers. Our AmeriCorps members use The Benefit Bank to screen for benefits, complete applications and file federal and state taxes for clients.
SafetyNet Assistance Network was established by Trident United Way with the intent to align local services and resources to best meet the needs of clients in our Tri-County community.
Prosperity Centers are located Berkeley and Dorchester Counties and are a “one-stop shop” of services for clients. The centers house up to ten agencies at a time and provide classes, individualized coaching and computer access for clients.