What is an asset? An asset is anything that contributes to an individual’s or family’s economic stability, including a home, a savings account, retirement account, or a college degree.
The Asset Building team serves various populations such as refugees, CHA residents, teenagers, and formerly homeless adults with disabilities. We provide financial education training to participants of some preexisting HHCS programs as well as the following specific Asset Building programs.
The Asset Building team has also developed the Wealth & Wellness curriculum, which was designed to provide financial education for individuals with limited literacy levels, low or fixed income and/or minimal financial management experience.
Imagine Dedicate Earn Achieve (IDEA) Initiative
The IDEA initiative serves women (single or heads of households) who earn between $10,000 and $40,000 annually. The program provides individual consultation and workshops focusing on financial education, housing and career development. IDEA staff also provides customized workshops for employers, community groups and religious organizations. Participants will work with an Asset Development Coordinator who will assist them in setting and accomplishing their personal financial goals. IDEA has a savings program that offers a 2:1 matched savings component, with a maximum match of $400. Additionally, we have the capacity to serve a small number of men with this program.
Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS)
Family Self-Sufficiency is a HUD-sponsored asset-building program for families in federally subsidized housing through Chicago Housing Authority. Qualifying residents have the opportunity to build assets by increasing their earned income. Over the course of five years, FSS staff assists each family in setting and reaching goals toward financial stability and economic self-sufficiency. During this time, whenever the family’s rent increases as a result of increased earnings, CHA places money into an escrow account. When the family reaches their identified goals, they graduate from the program and receive the money in the escrow account, plus interest, to use for any purpose. Financial education workshops are offered several times a year in conjunction with FSS to teach basic banking, savings, credit, and other money management concepts.
Meet Your Match (MYM)
MYM is a 6 - 12 month savings and financial literacy program serving formerly homeless participants of several Heartland Human Care Services Supportive Housing programs. The program provides individual consultation and workshops focusing on financial literacy, housing and career development. Participants will work with an Asset Development Coordinator who will assist them in setting and accomplishing their personal financial goals. MYM has a savings program that offers a 2:1 matched savings component, with a maximum match of $400.
This initiative partners with businesses to provide customized onsite financial education workshops that address the specific needs of a business’ employees. Workshops include topics such as cash management, credit improvement, debt reduction, retirement planning, asset development and basic investments, spending leaks and savings plans. The program conducts a survey on the employees’ knowledge and interests and provides the employer with an analysis of the financial health of the workforce.