Maria had always dreamed of buying her first home, but was burdened by debt. Her Disability income was not enough to pay the bills for herself and her nine children. Referred by a local housing organization to Compass Center for Women and Families, Maria soon joined the Financial Coaching and Support program. With other participants she attended weekly financial workshops for two months then each met individually each quarter for a year to chart their progress with a financial counselor. Each participant was invited to place an empty frame on the wall at home and envision their completed picture. Maria was inspired by this challenge, and learned and developed new financial skills, and, perhaps more importantly, identified her own beliefs about money, changed her behavior patterns and was able to share her journey with the eight other women participating.
Fifteen months later, Maria has established an emergency fund, is putting two kids through college and has commendable savings for a down-payment on her first home. Even better, her children are learning from her grit and determination to make smart choices around money for themselves as well. “I wish I was using Compass Center a long time ago,” Maria told us recently. “It really, really helps. If I didn’t have Compass Center, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t have that belief in myself.”
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