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United Way Seeks To Fund Financial Literacy Programs In Newtown, Bethel

This United Way video gives a voice to folks that are work hard and still struggle.
This United Way video gives a voice to folks that are work hard and still struggle. Video Credit: uwwesternct

DANBURY, Conn. -- United Way of Western Connecticut is expanding funding for financial literacy programs, and it's seeking proposals from agencies in its 15-town region, up until Tuesday, April 8.

In the fall and winter of 2015, UWWC surveyed the ALICE population -- those who are asset-limited, income constrained and employed -- and had a series of "Community Conversations." The organization discovered that learning how to save for emergencies and budgeting for everyday expenses was the top need of households that are living paycheck to paycheck.

United Way hopes to better address that need and put more ALICE households on the road to financial stability by expanding the availability of free financial literacy and coaching programs.

"We held more than 25 Community Conversations and collected more than 500 surveys," said Kim Morgan, CEO of UWWC. "By asking ALICE directly, we learned that they would like more help in managing their household expenses and be able to put money aside for savings.

"Often, when you just have enough money to get by, expenses like an unexpected car repair or appliance repair can put you into debt. Financial coaching can help those families start to save and avoid high-interest credit card charges."

Agencies that currently provide financial literacy or coaching services within UWWC's footprint should in submit an LOI. Agencies that are best able to serve the ALICE population, based on the LOI, will be invited to apply for funding.

"ALICE families are working very hard, but they struggle every day to cover expenses and cope with the high cost of living in this region," said Bridget Fox, executive vice president of Strategy and Community Engagement. "United Way’s goal is to make their lives easier while helping them maintain their independence."

The United Way of Western Connecticut serves Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield, Stamford and Sherman in Fairfield County as well as Bridgewater, Kent, New Milford, Roxbury, Warren and Washington in Southern Litchfield County.

If you have questions about the LOI process, contact Fox at 203-883-0960 or bridget.fox@uwwesternct.org.

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