Celebrating the Financial Empowerment Center in Baltimore

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Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott celebrated the work of the City’s Financial Empowerment Center (FEC), a key tool of the Scott Administration’s efforts to improve financial mobility and ensure equitable economic growth. Partners in the celebration included the national Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund), M&T Bank, and the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED). The Center provides people of Baltimore City with expert, one-on-one financial coaching and counselling as a free public service.

The foundation of the FEC model is the integration of financial counselling with other social services, including domestic abuse assistance, employment development, reentry help, benefits access, and extra support resources. Baltimore’s Financial Empowerment Center is supported by the CFE Fund in addition to other regional partners like the CASH Campaign of Maryland and the Housing Authority of Baltimore City. It is part of the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development.

Since January 2021, FEC counsellors with formal training have aided individuals and families with low and moderate incomes in managing their money, reducing debt, increasing savings, establishing and building credit, and gaining access to mainstream banking services that are both secure and reasonably priced.

M&T Bank has given $82,000 to the Baltimore City Financial Empowerment Center to expand it as a gesture of appreciation for the value that financial counselling services provide to the neighbourhood.

According to Mayor Brandon M. Scott, “Our Financial Empowerment Center has been a crucial tool as we try to encourage financial mobility and unlock the economic potential of our neighbourhoods.” “I want to thank all of our collaborators for enabling this important effort. Baltimore’s FEC has offered over 850 free financial counselling sessions since its start, helping locals lower their debt by over $360,000 and improve their savings by nearly $75,000 as a result.”

This money will go toward hiring a third financial counsellor and paying for their salary, benefits, education, and tools. MOED is thrilled to be able to assist additional locals.

According to Jonathan Mintz, president and chief executive officer of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, “local leaders know first-hand the connection between family financial stability and community financial stability – and this connection is especially important during the current crisis.” “We are proud to partner with Mayor Scott to assist residents in navigating the financial impact of COVID-19 and working towards a stronger financial future. Mayor Scott and the City of Baltimore are part of a growing national movement to bring free, high-quality financial counselling as a public service to their residents.”

“To put and keep our residents on a path of economic recovery, MOED works nonstop. The FEC has assisted citizens in reducing debt by over $360,000 since its start by providing essential financial counselling and services at no cost to individuals or their families “Director of the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development Jason Perkins-Cohen said The relationship with the CFE Fund and local community organisations enables us to assist those who are most in need in achieving financial stability and security. The COVID-19 pandemic put many in extremely difficult financial positions.

According to Augie Chiasera, regional president of M&T Bank for Greater Baltimore, “M&T Bank is proud to work with the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development and Cities for Financial Empowerment to help deliver one-on-one financial counselling to city residents who need it most.” Nothing is more crucial to the city’s future than the security and well-being of its citizens’ finances, and M&T is pleased to support the growth of services that better serve the requirements of the neighbourhood. FECs have worked with about 133,000 clients nationwide since they were first tested in New York City in 2008 during Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration, helping them lower their personal debt by over $192 million and increase their families’ savings by nearly $38 million. Additionally, a CFE Fund evaluation revealed that this programme is effective even for those who have extremely low salaries and other difficult financial circumstances. One of the many local governments that are either launching or have already begun a local FEC project is Baltimore City. The CFE Fund and M&T Bank provide financial support to the Baltimore City FEC.

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