Many churches and faith-based nonprofits are adding financial literacy to their outreach services. In addition to the traditional food and clothing distributions, these organizations offer classes on banking, budgeting, debt reduction, credit education and more for parishioners and community members.
As Pastor Mark Whitlock noted, “We believe that the church is more than a place of spiritual salvation. It must include financial salvation. We must be delivered from over-spending and under investing.” Whitlock, the spiritual leader of the 3,500-member Christ Our Redeemer (COR) A.M.E. Church, said, “We partner with banks and financial institutions to enlighten our members about debit and credit, savings and investments, and liabilities and expenses.”
COR provides a range of classes through its Community Development Corporation (COR CDC) headed by the Rev. Charles Dorsey who serves as executive director.
“Since late last year, we have been meeting with bankers, discussing how we can better empower the underserved and under privileged as it relates to financial literacy,” said Dorsey.
“Many people have big dreams and big goals, however, some of the foundational principles like creating a budget, writing a check, opening up a bank account, even dealing with some of the nuances that come along with educational and business opportunities, our communities are not as well-versed yet.”
To address the situation, COR CDC’s curriculum has sessions for all ages, from youth to adults. Topics include ‘How to Create a Budget,’ ‘How to Build Credit,’ ‘How to Fix Credit,’ and ‘How to Manage the Extra Money You Have.’ COR CDC also offers home-buying workshops and retirement planning. In addition, Dorsey is working with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau to establish a call center to assist people with financial questions through answers or referrals.
“This summer, several banks are partnering with COR to launch a venture capital fund this summer that will invest in the businesses created by high school seniors and up,” added Whitlock.
To contact Rev. Dorsey, call (949) 955-0014, extension 205 or visit corcdc.org.
Source: The LA Sentinel