Catholic Charities Fort Worth offers information on "underbanked" marketplace
FORT WORTH — Being poor is very expensive, because of high interest rates on payday loans, and high fees if you’re late with your rent or utilities payments when an emergency comes up,” noted Catholic Charities Fort Worth (CCFW) board member Christopher Plumlee.
Plumlee and CCFW staff, board members, and supporters enthusiastically welcomed featured speaker Rachel Schneider of New York for an “eye-opening” presentation on the implications of living paycheck to paycheck.
Schneider, co-author of the 2017 book The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty, offered information about the obstacles to economic security faced by the “underbanked.” Working-class Americans often have insufficient access to mainstream financial services and products, such as credit cards or loans. Her interactive presentation, which included thoughtful analysis of the trends and economic realities currently impacting CCFW clients, was both challenging and validating, said Dana Springer, CCFW’s Senior Director of Case Management Services.
“At Catholic Charities, we provide many types of assistance, including financial coaching. We believe in the importance of creating strong, trust-based relationships with our clients, and [Rachel Schneider] certainly emphasized the importance and the positive outcomes that result from that approach,” Springer said. “Her perspective is valuable, because she has studied these economic realities, and the strategies that create success, all over the country.”
Plumlee said, “It’s very difficult for people to extricate themselves from the financial quagmire. That’s where our team at Catholic Charities comes in. They’re working to educate clients, offer coaching, counseling, education, and training, helping them to achieve financial stability by obtaining better jobs and gaining access to services at trustworthy financial institutions.”
CCFW’s intensive case management with thousands of individuals and families within the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth is not a “short-term fix” for people in need, added Plumlee. “They offer emergency assistance, and they also help people to change patterns that keep them in poverty,” he said. “This gathering offered an opportunity to learn more about how critically important [CCFW’s] work is at this time in the history of our country.”
CCFW staff member Shannon Rosedale explained that presentations like Schneider’s are part of the agency’s long-term strategic plan. “We want to transform the conversation around poverty,” Rosedale said. “The more we can continue to educate our community about what we are doing, the more we can accomplish.”
For more information about future educational opportunities at CCFW, call 817-289-0344 or email [email protected].