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Supporting Community Economic Success Programs

February 12, 2013
By

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We try to give people a lot of tools and resources to tap into the income supports that are out there.

Geoff Biggs

Family Economic Success Trainer

Strategies

Geoff Biggs, family economic success trainer at Strategies — a training and technical assistance agency for family resource centers in California — provides the following top strategies, resources and advice.

  • Earn It, Keep It, Save It! and Voluntary Income Tax Assistance, A United Way/federal government partnership that provides free income tax assistance. “It’s easy for staff to implement and the results are apparent really quickly,” Biggs says.
  • Any income tax assistance helping people claim the Earned Income Tax Credit. “If you can put $2,000 in a poor family’s pocket, that’s wonderful,” Biggs says.
  • Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). Assets for Independence is a government program that administers IDAs.
  • Budgeting classes. “Any class that makes taking care of your finances something that people can discuss, rather than dodge,” Biggs says.
  • Workforce development. “Helping people get job training one way or another so they can get a job or a better job and (maybe) a career,” Biggs says.
  • Self-sufficiency Calculator. “It gives people a real understanding of what they need to be making to realize their goals,” Biggs says.
  • Access to all income supports. “We try to give people a lot of tools and resources to tap into the income supports that are out there,” Biggs says.
  • Online financial education programs. Jumpstart.org and the FDIC provide information on online financial education programs. “Financial institutions have a mandate as part of their charter that they do some kind of community education,” Biggs says.

Originally written by Eve Pearlman.