Are you “financially capable”? What does financial capability mean to you? Does it mean you can pay your bills each month? Or create a budget and stick to it? Does it mean you can put aside some savings toward your plans for the future? It can mean different things to different people, but whatever the definition, the HomeOwnership Center is a local organization dedicated to helping people get to “yes”.
April is National Financial Literacy Month, and being financially literate – knowing how to use a bank and credit wisely, knowing what a household budget is and how to plan your monthly spending – is very important. The staff at HomeOwnership Center make sure all of their customers learn about those skills. However, the HomeOwnership Center staff want to help people take a step beyond financial literacy to financial capability. They believe there is a lot of power behind being financially capable, that it is learning not just how the financial system works, but how to make that system work for you. It is that vision of financial independence that the HomeOwnership Center seeks to share with their customers.
In addition to its home ownership customers, the HomeOwnership Center is sharing this financial empowerment attitude with a particular group of students in Elkins. At the start of each new term, HomeOwnership Center staff leads Financial Capability workshops with the students enrolled in YouthBuild North Central, a program offering vocational and educational training to at-risk youth from our community. For many of these students, this is their first taste of financial freedom, it may be their first paycheck, and learning how to use it wisely and begin to plan for the future can be the difference between getting on the right financial track, or not. Michelle Phares, Program Director for YouthBuild North Central said, “I’m happy to partner with the HomeOwnership Center. Their delivery of the FDIC Money Smart for Young Adults curriculum helps the young adults in our program build financial knowledge, security and confidence.”
The HomeOwnership Center is proud of its partnership with YouthBuild North Central. Executive Director, Kate Somers, explained, “We believe that sharing this information with the youth of our area is very important. If a young person has not had someone sit them down to discuss how to use a bank account, how to make saving a priority, how to use credit wisely, it is much more likely they will end up making some financial missteps when they are just starting out, and they can end up being very costly mistakes. We want these YouthBuild students to have the tools to make wise decisions and be financially empowered to do so. We want to help make a positive difference for their future.”
The mission of the HomeOwnership Center is to strengthen the communities of North Central West Virginia by creating and supporting successful home owners through sound and ongoing financial counseling, home buyer education, and responsible lending. These services are available to everyone without restrictions. The HomeOwnership Center is located at 2276 Randolph Ave. in Elkins (US 219 North toward the Parsons Road) and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 304-636-9115 or visit www.hocwv.org. WV Mortgage Broker License #MB-20182; NMLS ID 362854.