May 2014
eVolume 1, Issue 2

Looking for some help with finances, but don’t know where to start? RUPCO should be at the top of your list of options. A new Financial Capabilities program has rolled out of the NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center with the goal of creating sustainable financial futures. The program will be led by financial coaches Francisca Castellanos and Taryn Schobert who says “It’s not just about financial education, it’s about using that knowledge to empower people to make real life changes.” Starting with each individual’s unique concerns, coaches will help participants create and work toward appropriate financial goals. “The idea is to let each new client decide what goals they’d like to achieve and set up a plan based on those goals,” Schobert went on to say. This training helps people turn financial knowledge into behavior that guides them in making healthy financial decisions while empowering them to overcome future obstacles.

The multifaceted program is accessible to anyone from students to retirees who are interested in getting financial help. The program serves a wide range of individuals with an even wider range of financial needs. Financial Capabilities can help someone with a goal as small as opening up a bank account and setting up a budget to as large as managing investments or buying a home. Those at later stages in life might need help with retirement planning or a reverse mortgage. “Everyone has different levels of financial education and different goals and this program allows clients to play an active role in having those goals met,” says Castellanos about the new program, which she is excited to be bringing to RUPCO, the community it serves, and those who have yet to seek RUPCO’s services.

This type of program is important to the community because it provides a vital service not offered elsewhere. A survey conducted by NeighborWorks found that 70 million working age Americans have no emergency savings. That’s 1 in 3 American adults! That’s pretty significant considering the financial uncertainly so many people face on a regular basis since the recession hit the country about seven years ago. Many Americans faced job losses or cuts and have not fully recovered. Pockets of unemployment remain and many who found employment are not making comparable salaries to their pre-recession jobs. Financial crises like this show the critical need for adults to have a financial plan and that includes a sound budget. In the Financial Capabilities program budgeting and establishing savings are just a few of the services offered, and perhaps some of the most important.

While the program has already begun to take seed, it will really bloom in June during National NeighborWorks Week. This is a week-long series of events in which NeighborWorks America and its network of local organizations mobilize tens of thousands of volunteers, businesspeople, neighbors, friends, and local and national elected and civic leaders in a week of neighborhood change and awareness. On June 10th the HomeOwnership Center will offer individual and group coaching sessions as well as classes that will allow participants to set their goals and move forward through the program.

For more information about the program contact Francisca Castellanos at or Taryn Schobert at or call RUPCO’s HomeOwnership Center at 845-331-9860.

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