Friday, June 15, 2018

ACFCU and Family Promise: A dovetailed partnership

Financial coaching: More than 'checking a box'

My grandfather, Fred McLucas, spent World War II in Seattle, helping churn out planes at Boeing. Grandpa spent four years learning a craft and helping the war effort. As a young man, he didn’t do it without some help and guidance, and I’m confident Boeing had community partners who helped make sure young folks could make the most of their earnings to get a start in life. ACFCU is that kind of community partner, sharing our expertise with non-profits, employers and others.

Family Promise of Greater Johnson City is one of those partners. They serve homeless families with children, and those folks go through a case-managed process to get back on their feet. By the time they are housed again, FPJC has provided tools to help them avoid a return to homelessness. Financial health and financial knowledge are huge factors in this. The small staff at Family Promise aren’t financial experts, as Executive Director Bob Hall says in this short video. So for the past couple of years, we’ve done individualized financial coaching with client families. This is a game changer for folks when they take full advantage of that hand up we’re extending.

 Can Family Promise's staff members pull from a template, have a client fill out a survey or view a video and “check a box” saying they’ve covered the financial piece? Sure they can. But that's checking a box, not truly providing tools. We offer expert, individualized coaching with a credit report review and development of an action plan that helps people develop and reach their financial goals. We’re there for follow up, which is crucial because the journey to financial wellness is a long one with bumps along the way and lots of details to cover.

ACFCU Financial Coaching Specialist Adam Taylor
and client Tyler Hinkle.
We are working to develop enough of a relationship, and get enough buy-in, that those coaching clients will stay in a relationship with us. Emerging from homelessness can be the beginning of an upward trajectory or it can be the start of another cycle that will end badly. ACFCU has services – our coaching being one of those – and products rooted in helping people stair step to ever-increasing financial wellness and security. And we’ve got other great partners in the affordable housing space and in other agencies so our clients – whether we’ve met them through Family Promise or elsewhere – can leverage many opportunities to move ahead.

Without some continued guidance in financial matters, things can go south in a hurry. So we’re always thankful when people recognize the value we offer and continue taking advantage of our guidance through the many steps in their journeys.

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