City partners with LHOME to launch a free financial navigator service for residents

November 23, 2020

In partnership with national nonprofit organization the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund), Louisville Metro Government announced today the launch of a free Financial Navigators program to help residents navigate critical financial issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financial Navigators will be available remotely starting Nov. 23 to provide guidance over the phone to help residents access available programs and services to manage income disruptions and other financial concerns.  These experts help residents one-on-one to triage personal financial issues, identify immediate action steps to manage expenses and maximize income, and make referrals to other relevant community resources such as the Eviction Prevention Program, LIHEAP, Healthy at Home, etc. Louisville Metro Government and Bank On Louisville will offer these services in partnership with Louisville Housing and Opportunities Micro-Enterprise Community Development Loan Fund, Inc. (LHOME).

“Helping residents who are facing financial challenges due to COVID-19 is a critical part of the city’s frontline response and recovery efforts,” said Mayor Greg Fischer.  “The city is proud to partner with LHOME to provide this free public service for all of our residents.”

Residents can access these free, remote services by completing the online form here or calling (502) 657-6624 to sign up. The navigator will then send a short service agreement and call the client to begin their personal session. Organizations across Louisville can also refer clients directly to an expert.

Each session will last approximately 30 minutes. After the session, the Financial Navigator will send a follow-up email outlining next steps and referrals.

“During these uncertain times, it is critical that our residents access vital financial resources,” said Amy Shir, President and CEO of LHOME, a local Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and administrator of the Financial Navigator Program. “We encourage anyone concerned about paying bills, facing possible evictions or utility shut-offs, or with questions about accessing public benefits to call our hotline at (502) 657-6624. Our Financial Navigators are compassionate and trained to listen to callers and provide useful information.”

Louisville was one of more than 30 cities and counties across the nation awarded an $80,000 grant by CFE Fund to launch the Financial Navigators initiative, which also includes technical assistance and training. The Financial Navigators initiative is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Citi Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and the Wells Fargo Foundation.

“Financial distress is a primary part of the COVID-19 crisis, and we’re pleased Mayor Fischer and his team are making this a priority for Louisville residents,” said Jonathan Mintz, President and CEO of the CFE Fund. “The Financial Navigators program will help Louisville residents assess and prioritize their financial concerns and get connected with the right resources.”

“The pandemic and resulting economic crises have hit low- and middle-income households, contingent and undocumented workers, and many others very hard,” said James Anderson, Head of Government Innovation at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “We are very pleased to help the CFE Fund expand its high quality and impactful financial empowerment services to reach many more people in more cities.”

“Sound financial health is a critical component of addressing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on low-income and diverse communities in the U.S,” said Sarah Bainton Kahn, VP of Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase & Co. “We are pleased to collaborate with the CFE Fund to help people in Louisville to access the tools and services they need to build resiliency and advance their financial health.”

“Communities across the country continue to face significant economic challenges as a result of COVID-19,” said Brandee McHale, Head of Citi Community Investing and Development and President of the Citi Foundation. “To provide residents in Louisville with the vital financial tools and support necessary to navigate the financial impacts of the pandemic, the Citi Foundation is proud to partner once again with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund to launch the Financial Navigators program.”

“The pandemic has clearly heightened awareness around the financial hardships that so many people were already facing here in Louisville and deep disparities that exist in society,” said Darlene Goins, Head of financial philanthropy with the Wells Fargo Foundation.  “We applaud the CFE Fund for bringing together the city of Louisville, philanthropists, and financial services and other industries to reimagine solutions that can help improve financial stability and resiliency for individuals and families, particularly during this economic crisis.”

About Bank On Louisville
Launched in 2010, Bank On Louisville is a collaborative partnership between local government, financial institutions and community organizations that work to improve the financial stability of unbanked and underbanked residents in our Louisville community. To date, Bank On Louisville has helped connect more than 47,000 residents to safe and affordable bank accounts and connected more than 26,500 residents to quality financial education. In 2020, Bank On Louisville is proud to celebrate 10 years of connecting residents to Louisville’s safest accounts. Visit www.bankonlouisville.org for more information.

About LHOME
LHOME stands for The Louisville Housing Opportunities and Micro-Enterprise Community Development Loan Fund, Inc. and is an intentionally inclusive CDFI focused on serving community members and small business owners in Louisville’s low-moderate income neighborhoods. LHOME is committed to combating historic redlining and institutional racism by promoting ownership through accessible, affordable loan products and financial coaching services to its clients, most of whom are people of color living and/or working in West and South Louisville neighborhoods. Visit https://www.lhomeky.org/ or email [email protected] for more information. 

About the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund)
The CFE Fund supports municipal efforts to improve the financial stability of households by leveraging opportunities unique to local government. By translating cutting edge experience with large scale programs, research, and policy in cities of all sizes, the CFE Fund assists mayors and other local leaders to identify, develop, fund, implement, and research pilots and programs that help families build assets and make the most of their financial resources. The CFE Fund is currently working in over 100 cities and has disbursed over $43 million to city governments and their partners to support these efforts. For more information, please visit www.cfefund.org or follow us on Twitter at @CFEFund.

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