Special to The Dallas Examiner
The city of Dallas, in partnership with the national Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, WiNGS and the International Rescue Committee, announced the grand opening of the Dallas Financial Empowerment Centers, a network of community centers offering free, professional, one-on-one financial counseling and coaching.
As a free public service, the Dallas FEC will help individuals and families manage their finances, pay down debt, increase savings, establish and build credit and access safe and affordable mainstream banking products.
“Dallas is thriving economically and has been dubbed America’s ‘Comeback City’ coming out of the pandemic,” said Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson. “We still have more room to grow. To move our city forward even further, we must find ways to prudently and strategically invest in the people of Dallas. And with the help of financial skills training, we can provide opportunities for our residents to meet their full potential.”
Partnering with IRC and WiNGS allows the Dallas FEC to provide residents with the resources and tools they need to achieve their financial goals. All while integrating other social services with the program model, such as housing, workforce development, prisoner reentry, benefits access, domestic violence services and more, to address other barriers that may be keeping residents from financial stability.
As a government public service, offered in collaboration with nonprofit and private organizations, the Dallas FEC network will provide free services across Dallas, including in Oak Cliff, Pleasant Grove, Redbird and Vickery Meadow.
The CFE Fund supports municipal efforts to improve the financial stability of households by leveraging opportunities unique to local government.
The IRC responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster.
WiNGS is a nonprofit organization that helps women in the local community realize success through financial security as well as health, nutrition and safety for first-time moms and their babies.
WiNGS has a decades-long track record in helping clients elevate their financial stability. Since 2021, clients who participated in one-on-one coaching increased their savings by an average of $2,276, decreased their debt by an average of $6,316 and increased their credit score by an average of 49 points – all crucial steps in attaining household stability.
“Financial stability is crucial to the quality of life for all Dallas residents,” said Jessica Galleshaw, director of the Office of Community Care for the city of Dallas. “The Dallas Financial Empowerment Center will help residents set and meet financial goals like increasing their credit scores, saving for a big purchase or emergencies and generally help residents make informed decisions about their personal finances. Everybody is on their own financial journey with their own dreams and so the Dallas FEC is prepared to meet our residents where they are to help get them where they want to be.”
- WiNGS FEC Oak Cliff – 1617 Jefferson Blvd.
- WiNGS FEC Pleasant Grove – 8341 Elam Road.
- WiNGS FEC Red Bird Mall – 3662 W. Camp Wisdom Road.
- International Rescue Committee FEC – 6500 Greenville Ave.
“Local leaders know first-hand the connection between family financial stability and community financial stability – and this connection is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery,” said Jonathan Mintz, president and CEO of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “Mayor Eric Johnson and the city of Dallas are part of a growing national movement to bring free, high-quality financial counseling as a public service to their residents; we are proud to partner with the city of Dallas to help residents work towards a stronger financial future.”
First piloted in New York City under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2008, FECs across the country have worked with almost 142,000 clients, helping them reduce individual debt by over $211 million, and increasing their families’ savings by close to $43 million. In addition, a CFE Fund evaluation showed that this program works even for residents with very low incomes and other complex financial challenges. The city of Dallas is one of several dozen local governments that has launched, or are working to launch, a local FEC initiative. The Dallas FEC is supported by the CFE Fund, International Rescue Committee and WiNGS Dallas.