New pilot program launched to help Detroiters build wealth, savings accounts

What’s happening: The Flint-based nonprofit Communities First, Inc. anticipates a Wednesday, Nov. 1, start date for the Family Mobility Savings Program, a new pilot program launched to help Detroiters build wealth and their savings accounts. The program is made possible through the nonprofit’s participation in the United Way for Southeast Michigan’s Detroit Financial Innovation Well-Being Challenge.

What it is: The Family Mobility Savings Program is a free program that offers personal and professional coaching from CFI’s Family Mobility Coordinators. Participants in the program will receive personalized mentoring from the coaches that intend to deliver financial empowerment, and can include assistance in financial literacy lessons, professional development opportunities, access to healthy foods and housing, and more. Participants will also receive up to $1,000 in contributions to qualifying savings accounts.

Why it’s important: “We know roughly 60% of people have less than $1,000 in their savings for an emergency fund,” says Glenn Wilson, President and CEO of Communities First. “Through this pilot program we want to offer you the skills and knowledge to get there, while also getting you ready for your financial future.”

Who is eligible: The only eligibility requirements for the free program are that participants live in Detroit and are at least 18 years old.

What’s next: Though the pilot program isn’t anticipated to begin until Wednesday, Nov. 1, space is limited and CFI encourages those interested to register online. In-person and virtual information sessions are also available online.

Big picture: The Family Mobility Savings Program is one of six pilot projects accepted into the United Way’s Detroit Financial Innovation Well-Being Challenge, which is made possible through funding from JPMorgan Chase, Comerica Bank, General Motors, and United Way for Southeastern Michigan. The pilot will receive up to $200,000 and ongoing technical support over the course of a 12-month implementation period, with the chance to be selected for a $1 million Scale Stage grant in late 2024.

More information about this and the remaining pilot programs is available online.

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.