Written by Kevin Heffernan
Crafter Hours on October 25will benefit all of Jericho Road’s Service Sectors. Let’s take a look at each:
Jericho Road’s Events and Marketing Coordinator Mary Schaefer has provided some additional information on the program. Whether you attend their Crafter Hours program, or make donations to Jericho Road in the future, here’s a program your money benefits:
Financial education is not often taught in schools and many adults are lost when it comes to budgeting, increasing their credit scores, taking out loans, or buying a first home. For newcomers to the United States, especially refugees from countries where financial institutions are less established, a structured introduction to the American financial system is imperative. Based on their experience outside the U.S., some refugees are suspicious of banks and banking and are less likely to deposit their money, making them susceptible to theft. Many refugees are from parts of the world with less stable financial institutions or were prevented from accessing whatever financial systems did exist, so loans, interest, credit cards, and ATMS may be completely foreign to them.
Jericho Road’s financial education programs, Financially Fit and City Roots, meet Buffalonians where they are – both academically and physically – by providing one-on-one mentoring at home or in public venues like the library or a local coffee shop. Small group classes are also held in public places, including the Hope Refugee Drop-In Center. The structure of Financially Fit is based on the level of financial knowledge held by those entering the program. Lessons range from the basics of American currency and hands-on sessions about how to use an ATM to higher-level concerns such as budgeting, banking, and credit score improvement. Classes in languages other than English are offered at the Hope Refugee Drop-In Center three times a week. City Roots, a first-time homebuying program, is also offered in multiple languages.
Last year, 65 individuals completed the eight-week Financially Fit course and a further 38 people graduated from City Roots. Overall, 404 people had at least one educational interaction with Jericho Road’s finance team, either at a financial services event or workshop.