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Home Care Aides Receive Free Financial Counseling

May 29, 2014

Home care aides at the Bronx-based Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA) are able to receive free financial counseling, the result of a partnership between CHCA and Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners, an organization that provides financial supports to low-income New Yorkers.

The Neighborhood Trust-CHCA relationship began in early 2013. Advisors from Neighborhood Trust held several meetings at the CHCA office, during which they provided one-on-one counseling with CHCA aides who elected to participate.

Aides received their credit scores and went over their budgets with Neighborhood Trust advisors. With the advisors’ help, aides set spending plans that allowed them to meet their financial goals, including saving more money or paying off debt.

The advisors “don’t tell you what to do, they show  you,” said Gladys Drew, a CHCA home health aide and compliance coordinator. “They break it down for you: This is reality.”

Drew learned that her “reality” was spending beyond her means. With Neighborhood Trust’s help, she developed a plan to trim unnecessary expenses, cutting back on cab rides to the CHCA office (from twice a week to once a month) and trips to the salon and shoe store.

“I’m only one person — I don’t need 20,000 pairs of shoes,” she said.

Now, she is committed to saving a certain percentage of money from each paycheck. “I can’t believe I’m saving so much,” she said.

Participation in the program is voluntary. Beginning August 2013, all new CHCA hires spend an hour with Neighborhood Trust advisors as part of their new-hire orientation.

CHCA Director of Human Relations Iris Negron said that the feedback from home health aides has been very positive.

“A great number of people has said that Neighborhood Trust has had a positive impact on their savings, and has helped put them in a different mind frame” when it comes to balancing spending and saving, she said.

Negron added that Neighborhood Trust advisors re-connect with aides every few months to make sure they are staying on the right financial track.

— by Matthew Ozga

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