A testimony by Katherine Bartlett
"As a first time mom, I was struggling because of some of the bad choices that I made when I was younger. I bought a house too early and lost it and ruined my bank account and credit score. I joined the Family Scholar House in March of 2012 when my daughter, Jordyn MacKenzie Bartlett, was 2 months old, to try to make life better for us both. I found out about the Start Fresh! program when I was interning through the Louisville Asset Building Coalition. I went to the class that included things about budgeting, saving and investing which led to me opening a new bank account. This has allowed me to be able to balance my money better as well as save money from check cashing places and from paying for money orders. I am definitely on the road of making our lives more financially stable."
Struggling to make ends meet in early 2013, Tonya Battle applied for LIHEAP energy assistance to prevent disconnection of her utility services. A Finance 4 U flyer sparked her interest, so she enrolled in the free 6-week course to build skills around money management and goal-setting. She especially enjoyed learning how to save money with couponing, but in her words the most valuable outcome was that she “now had hope that [she] could do better.” The Start Fresh! curriculum also allowed her a second chance at opening a checking account, which will be a vital step on her journey to self-sufficiency .
Ms. B. Williams (on left of picture) has been a participant in the HOME program through HUD since 2007. She began receiving case management in 2010 from a Metro Community Services and Revitalization team member. Together, they have worked to set goals for Ms. Williams to become more self-sufficient, such as obtaining and maintaining permanent housing. As a result, Ms. Williams began paying off creditors, attending workshops and trainings, and enrolled in classes at Jefferson Community and Technical College. She has dreamed of becoming a homeowner and is on target to do just that. She is now paying her total rent with the HOME program and looks forward to paying a mortgage. “If you do what you’re supposed to do, good things happen. It’s not that hard. It takes commitment,” Ms. Williams proudly stated.
Eboniae was fulfilling many roles in her life. As a single parent, Eboniae nurtured, prepared and helped her daughters to mature. She worked many jobs and worked to present herself in a professional fashion so that people would respect and take her seriously. She had a desire to further her education and was determined to study criminal justice to better her family’s future. But Eboniae felt a void in her life, because no matter how hard she worked she was unable to get ahead.
She did not have short or long term goals established, and no matter how she budgeted or tried to save, she was unsuccessful. Finally, Eboniae sought case management through the Family Self Sufficiency program and was connected to Bank on Louisville.
Through Community Action Partnership’s Finance 4 U class and Bank On Louisville’s Start Fresh! workshop , Eboniae learned how to network among peers and organizations. She was able to obtain glasses that she had needed for about five years. Eboniae can now focus on her future and she is serious about achieving short and long term goals in her life. She has been saving money, is continuing her education, and has started improving her credit report.
Through streamlined services at Louisville Metro Community Services, Eboniae is on her pathway to financial stability.