Participants in six-week financial education classes are eligible for $2,500 towards a home down payment or clearing debt; made possible by a grant from Huntington National Bank.
HarMoney, an interactive virtual program which aims to improve the lives of local families struggling with debt by providing financial education, will begin March 13 and run through April 17. The program, offered by Gesher Human Services, is geared towards low to moderate income families (as defined by US Department of Housing and Urban Development) who have a credit score of 620 or below. The program, launched in 2021, focuses on improving financial health through budgeting, credit and money management, and savings advice. This year Gesher Human Services updated HarMoney, shortening the length of the program from 12 to six weeks. After successfully completing the program, participants could receive a financial grant of up to $2,500 (compared with up to $1,000 previously) towards a down payment for purchasing a new home or towards credit liabilities. Participants must meet all eligibility and program requirements and claim their grant within six months of the final session. HarMoney 2023 is made possible by a grant from Huntington National Bank.
Gesher Human Services’ Financial Capabilities Manager Laltsha Cunningham said that this year’s updated program requires less time commitment for families juggling work and childcare. Participants will receive four weeks of general financial instruction and two weeks of education focusing on home ownership. Explaining the increase in the financial grant to participants who complete the program, Cunningham said: “The cost of homes has risen, and escalating inflation has created even more debt for families. We wanted to provide a financial amount that could make a real difference in someone’s life.”
Gesher Human Services also collaborates with community partners which assist homeless families; such local families will also be encouraged to join the HarMoney program. “We are hoping to enroll struggling metro Detroit low-income families to finally help them get control of their finances, improve their credit scores and, eventually, be able to own their own home,” added Cunningham. “We couldn’t be more grateful to Huntington Bank for making this program possible and supporting members of our community who are especially vulnerable to financial stress.” Cunningham hopes that up to 30 metro Detroit families with benefit from the program.
“It’s important that banks collaborate with organizations on initiatives that help people who struggle with debt,” said Eric Dietz, Southeast Michigan regional president of Huntington Bank. “We can build strong communities by equipping people with tools and resources to accelerate their economic empowerment journey. We are proud to support Gesher Human Services’ efforts to bring the HarMoney program to metro Detroit families so they can improve their financial health.”
To learn more about HarMoney or to register for the program, email email@example.com or call 248-233-4299.