FSI Helps Families Leave Homelessness Behind

Synergy

BY SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING THURSDAY NOV 9, 2017

Six families who had lived at a Sarasota homeless shelter are now well on their way to self-sufficiency after a year’s worth of financial-literacy training, financial coaching, and peer support. The families are the second group to graduate from Gulf Coast Community Foundation and United Way Suncoast’s Financial Sustainability Initiative (FSI). Launched about a year and a half ago, FSI helps families avoid relapsing into homelessness by building the knowledge, habits, and assets they need to become financially sustainable. FSI is a new approach to ending generational poverty that was developed by Gulf Coast and United Way after scanning best practices around the country. Unlike many traditional financial-literacy programs, FSI reinforces classroom-style lessons about budgeting and saving with intensive, one-on-one financial and behavioral coaching. Incentives to help participants stick with the program range from meals and on-site childcare during evening workshops to matched savings accounts that double the money families are able to sock away. Through partners such as IberiaBank and the nonprofit Capital Good Fund, FSI also offers access to a range of asset- and credit-building financial products that effectively didn’t exist for these families in the past.

Gulf Coast Community Foundation

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