KeyBank Foundation has pledged a three-year grant of $300,000 ($100,000 per year) to Connecticut Association for Human Services (CAHS) to help move lower-income residents of the City of New Haven and Connecticut towards economic self-sufficiency. KeyBank’s investment will support the BankOn New Haven initiative, the city’s Financial Empowerment Center, and CAHS’ financial literacy programs. With Key’s support, CAHS will provide unbanked and underbanked individuals and families with financial education, and help them reduce debt, improve credit health and increase their utilization of banking products and services.
“At the core of KeyBank’s community commitment is helping our neighbors thrive financially through responsible banking and responsible citizenship,” said KeyBank Market President, Jeff L. Hubbard. “We are proud to partner with CAHS and the city of New Haven to empower low- and moderate income residents to realize their financial goals.”
The Financial Empowerment Center was created by New Haven’s Financial Empowerment Commission, convened by Mayor Toni Harp in 2016 to bring together local public officials, government agencies, financial institutions and community organizations to work together to improve the financial stability of lower-income individuals and families in the community, as well as the re-entry population. The City engaged CAHS to help develop the Commission and implement its recommendations. Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, a New York-based non-profit provided initial funding for the Commission and the BankOn initiative, a nationwide program that connects individuals with safe and affordable bank accounts.
“In this digital age, we know a secure financial future requires hands-on familiarity with the terms and the tools of routine banking, credit, and retail transactions,” said City of New Haven Mayor Toni N. Harp. “We know very well the pressures many New Haven families face in terms of budgeting for household rent, meals, clothing, transportation, and other necessities.
This is where the Financial Empowerment Commission comes into play, with programs underwritten by KeyBank, to help residents improve their financial literacy and identify immediate, mid-range, and longer-term strategies to help maintain financial independence.”
CAHS is uniquely positioned to successfully implement the BankOn New Haven initiative. Founded in 1910, CAHS seeks to promote family economic security strategies that empower low income working families to achieve financial independence. Since 2003, CAHS has offered an integrated suite of Family Economic Success program to help individuals “learn, earn, save and invest”. They are the largest Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) provider in Connecticut, providing free tax preparation for more than 16,000 filers annually. They also provide financial literacy for more than 5,000 youth and adults through the Connecticut Money School and Youth Money School workshops. CAHS is able to effectively provide support with budgeting, savings, credit, and financial resiliency by leveraging a network of trained volunteers, including many financial services professionals.
“We are grateful to the KeyBank Foundation for supporting this integrated effort by CAHS and the City of New Haven to help City residents open safe and affordable bank accounts, receive one-on-one financial coaching, and achieve their financial goals,” said Gloria Caesar, CAHS program director.
New Haven residents can learn more by going to www.cahs.org/bankon.
About KeyBank Foundation:
KeyBank Foundation serves to fulfill KeyBank’s purpose to help clients and communities thrive, and its mission is to support organizations and programs that prepare people for thriving futures. The Foundation’s mission is advanced through three funding priorities – neighbors, education, and workforce – and through community service. To provide meaningful philanthropy that transforms lives, KeyBank Foundation listens carefully to understand the unique characteristics and needs of its communities and then backs solutions with targeted philanthropic investments. KeyBank Foundation is a nonprofit charitable foundation, funded by KeyCorp.