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Empowering Financial Literacy: EverBank's Workshop for Refugee Clients

On Tuesday, July 9th, a representative from EverBank visited the Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida (LSS) office to present a financial literacy class to clients participating in our Match Grant program, an integral part of our Refugee Services department. This event aimed to equip our clients with essential financial skills, setting them on a path to self-sufficiency.

Understanding the Match Grant Program

The Match Grant program is a critical component of LSS's Refugee Services. Designed to assist newly arrived refugees, the program helps them achieve economic self-sufficiency within four to six months of their arrival. Through a combination of employment services, financial assistance, and community support, the Match Grant program empowers refugees to build stable, independent lives in their new home.

Bridging Language Barriers

To ensure all participants could fully benefit from the workshop, LSS staff translated the presentation into three languages: Spanish, Arabic, and Swahili. This inclusive approach reflects our commitment to making vital information accessible to all clients, regardless of their language proficiency.

Financial Literacy with EverBank's Money Smart Program

The workshop, part of EverBank's Money Smart program, focused on understanding income and expenses. This foundational knowledge is crucial for the people we serve, as it enables them to take control of their finances and meet their basic needs. By comprehending their income sources and how to manage them, clients can pave the way toward financial independence.

Key Topics Covered:
  1. Different Kinds of Income: Participants learned about various income sources, including wages, public benefits, and entitlements. Understanding these helps clients maximize their resources and plan accordingly.

  2. Understanding Pay Statements and Deductions: The session covered how to read pay statements and recognize different deductions, ensuring clients know exactly what they earn and what is withheld.

  3. Tax Documents: Clients were introduced to different tax documents, gaining insight into tax obligations and how to manage them effectively.

The workshop's first section focused on income comprehension, providing a solid foundation for managing personal finances.

Managing Expenses: Save, Share, and Spend

The second section of the workshop delved into managing expenses. Participants learned how to decide the best ways to save, share, and spend their income, emphasizing the importance of prudent financial decisions.

Why Expense Management Matters:
  • Avoiding Late Fees and Interest: Understanding how to manage expenses helps clients avoid unnecessary late fees and interest charges, which can quickly add up and strain their finances.

  • Maintaining a Positive Credit Report: Proper expense management ensures clients maintain a positive credit report, which is crucial for future financial opportunities.

  • Bill Payment: Clients also learned effective methods for paying their bills on time, contributing to overall financial stability.

By mastering these skills, clients can make informed financial decisions, avoid common pitfalls, and work towards long-term economic stability.

A Step Toward Self-Sufficiency

Workshops like these are vital for the people we serve. They provide the knowledge and tools necessary to understand and manage their finances effectively. By empowering our clients with financial literacy, we help them take the first steps toward self-sufficiency and a brighter future.

Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida is committed to offering continuous support and educational opportunities to all our clients. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to EverBank for their partnership and dedication to fostering financial literacy within our community.

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