What does it take to bring someone out of homelessness? Every person who enters through the doors of UGM looking for help brings their own story and a unique set of needs. We start with a hot meal and a dry place to sleep, and then we work with each person, equipping them with tools for long-term success.
Part of UGM’s program involves helping men and women create a personal budget to work towards paying off any accumulated debt. Recently, UGM teamed up with MAPS Credit Union to offer a financial workshop for men transitioning back into the community from incarceration.
“Your credit history follows you no matter what you do. Our credit workshop is a way to educate the guests and give them tools to start repairing that history if they have blemishes,” said Peter Rector, MAPS Community Outreach Coordinator. Both Peter and MAPS Community Development Officer Mitzi Smith are passionate about helping guests break financial barriers to establish financial success.
“When you talk about credit with this particular group, they were uprooted from making a car payment, mortgage or rent, credit cards, and having years go by or however long they are unable to deal with that, it doesn’t go away, it’s a reminder of the past. Their credit score affects everything such as; getting a cell phone, renting an apartment, paying insurance and overall financial wellness. Credit is one of the greatest barriers to work on with them.” said Mitzi. “You can’t just build credit overnight, it takes time, so this program says, ‘let’s help you build credit and let’s help you build credit correctly.’ It gets people on the right track.”
Check out other stories of hope in our upcoming newsletter and on our blog, 365 Days of Hope.