Poverty in Washtenaw County? Yes. Nearly 40% of our neighbors are struggling.
As part of our commitment to addressing key community issues, United Way of Washtenaw County is developing strategies to positively impact the financial stability of our citizens. The goal is to help move people towards greater economic self-sufficiency and away from the safety-net services that are used during crisis situations.
How are we doing this?
Mobile Financial Resource Team (MFRT)
Free 1-on-1 Financial Coaching & Resource Navigation-- by our trained financial coach provides financial education to help individuals get back on their feet, and stay there. Financial coaching is designed to help individuals achieve financial milestones, such as improving their credit score, net worth and/or net income, and becoming debt free. To ensure that you get, and stay, on track, we can also help you access local social services for which you are eligible, like food assistance, utility assistance and healthcare coverage.
Free Financial Empowerment Workshops-- using the FDIC Money Smart curriculum our workshops can teach individuals of all ages about financial stability. Workshops are group- based, with “hands on” modules that cover a range of topics from basic budgeting to credit repair help. Why? Because the more individuals know about credit and banking services, the more likely they are to make informed financial decisions. - Our services are mobile. You will find us at your local community center and at social service agencies across Washtenaw County.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
United Way provides free tax preparation assistance to low- to moderate-income families and individuals from February to April of each year. Trained VITA volunteers and certified tax professionals work one-on-one with eligible taxpayers to provide basic tax return preparation services and electronic filing; offer financial tips; and inform taxpayers about special tax credits they may qualify for such as Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or Disabled.In 2016, UWWC free tax services resulted in: 596 state and federal returns filed; $578,000 in tax returns brought back to Washtenaw County; $90,000 estimated tax return preparation fees saved; 54 volunteers dedicated 830 hours to serving Washtenaw County residents; $18,085 was the average household adjusted gross income and the average refund was $1221.27.