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1 (817) 332-6191

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512 West 4th Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76102

© 2017 Center for Transforming Lives, All Rights Reserved

We transform lives by increasing the financial stability and self-sufficiency of mothers and their children

 

 

Just $500 in emergency savings can keep a family out of homelessness

​The adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” holds true throughout life, and is strikingly apparent with families struggling in poverty. Not only do Center programs help women and families experiencing homelessness, but our programs also prevent families from becoming homeless, keeping them in the safety of their homes.

Single mother households with young children under age 6 are especially vulnerable to financial instability: 37 percent live below the federal poverty line, just one crisis away from homelessness. Poor credit compounds financial instability; its snowball effect leads to higher borrowing, premiums and deposits (for phones, housing, utilities). Good credit reduces expenses, freeing dollars to pay debt, and build financial assets. For a family with less than $1/day in discretionary income, one-on-one financial coaching with a solid plan to build emergency savings, reduce debt and establish credit is critical for their long-term economic well-being. Additional program components include job readiness, employment outreach and access to a client crisis fund, which provides dollars to help clients with pressing and unmet needs that conventional social services do not support.

Poverty reduction programs are imperative to Tarrant County. Thirty-three percent of working Tarrant County households are low income (below 200% of Federal Poverty Line) and nearly half live in liquid asset poverty. Something as simple as a flat tire can be the catalyst that leaves a family homeless. ​

Preventing homelessness reduces poverty, helps mothers retain employment and keeps children fed, educated and safe.

A hand up, not a hand out

Money management is a powerful tool. In Tarrant County, 44 percent of those in poverty are working. Despite a stable income, these parents are struggling to provide basic necessities for their families. Our financial coaches work one-on-one with each participant to help them to develop and follow a budget, decrease debt, build credit, increase income and begin saving for a better future.

Participants who attended at least four individual coaching sessions showed tremendous results last year: 

  • Average credit score increase: 43 points

  • Average increase in savings: $497

  • Average increase income: $3,183 per year

 

As little as $500 can keep a family out of homelessness, saving our community more than $20,000 per year.

Learn more about Tarrant County's financial health by visiting Prosperity Now.