Grant funding provides more financial literacy resources for Delawareans
DELAWARE – “Taking control of your finances and not being controlled by your finances is foundational whether that’s for housing or other aspects as well. It’s just a really important service to the community,” Gilmore said.
When you think of Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, you may think of their efforts to keep those most vulnerable in the community housed.
Thanks to grant funding from Office of the State Bank Commissioner, the nonprofit now has $30,000 in grant funding to assist Delawareans with financial literacy. “It will help a lot of people here in Sussex County stabilize their finances just by becoming more aware of them, how to budget, and how debt is recorded and how to reduce their debt,” Gilmore said.
It’s called the Financial Literacy Education Fund. The FLEF grants support programs teaching students the importance of money management, assist families on their road to homeownership, and helping families build financially healthy households.
Habitat For Humanity Executive Officer Kevin Gilmore says those dollars will allow them to build on their current coaching program and provide additional workshops.
Gilmore also says there’s a direct correlation between financial literacy and homeownership. “We may be building 10 or 15 Habitat houses in a given year in Sussex County. We’ve seen 10 or more of those families a year go on to buy houses using other methods just because they stabilized their finances by taking control of them and learning,” Gilmore said.
This effort isn’t only for adults, as Pathways to Success in Georgetown works with over 400 students across Sussex County.
Their primary goal is to teach kids the importance of money management. “For many of our undeserved and under-resourced children, the notion of saving is somewhat foreign to them. It’s almost like a hand to mouth kind of thing,” Pathways to Success Executive Director Fayetta Blake said.
“Alot of time is spent on the overall credit worthiness piece of it because without good credit you can get anything in America. You just can’t.”
Blake adds that with knowledge, comes power. “Once kids learn, they’re now empowered. Once empowered, that’s the ability to change the trajectory of your life,” Blake said.
Sussex County Habitat for Humanity was just one of 21 nonprofits who received this current round of funding. Since 2010, FLEF has provided over $3 million in awards to several organizations across the state to improve financial literacy for all Delawareans.
Pathways to Success tells us their efforts have not only increased financial literacy in the students they serve, but 98% of those students go on to graduate high school.