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Housing counseling agency uses Consumer Action materials to help clients secure, maintain housing
The Calcasieu Parish Housing Counseling Agency makes MoneyWi$e materials available to existing and potential clients.
The Calcasieu Parish Housing Counseling Agency, operating near the Gulf Coast just west of New Orleans, is an invaluable community organization providing one-on-one counseling and supportive service through education and training to provide clients the information and resources they need to obtain, maintain and sustain housing.
In October, the agency contacted Consumer Action to let us know how their staff have used our free educational materials (created through the MoneyWi$e project—a national financial literacy partnership of Consumer Action and Capital One) to help their clients learn about creating and rebuilding good credit, managing their money wisely and avoiding ID theft and account fraud. MoneyWi$e is the first program of its kind to combine free, multilingual financial education materials, curricula and teaching aids with train-the-trainer events to educate the staff at community-based organizations in order to help them better assist consumers at all income levels and walks of life.
The Calcasieu Parish Housing Counseling Agency makes MoneyWi$e materials available to existing and potential clients by displaying the publications in their office, disseminating them in one-on-one counseling sessions, passing them out to homeownership class participants and distributing them amongst the larger community.
Calcasieu Parish Housing Counseling Agency’s HUD certified counselor Debra Tate expressed her appreciation for the MoneyWi$e materials, writing: “Thank you, Consumer Action, for allowing my agency the opportunity to share this literature with our community. We look forward to continuing our partnership by bringing knowledge to clients in teaching sound money practices.”
We were thrilled to hear about how Tate was using our educational resources, so we followed up with some additional questions to find out more.
Thanks for agreeing to speak with us.
First, how would you describe your agency’s mission?
Our mission is dedicated to helping Americans become more knowledgeable and financially responsible by teaching sound money management practices.
Who is your target audience?
We serve low to moderate-income families.
What geographic region do you serve?
We serve a five-parish area in southwestern Louisiana, including: Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Allen and Beauregard.
Have you attended one of our National Consumer Empowerment conferences? If yes, what did you gain from the experience?
Yes, I attended your 5th annual National Consumer Empowerment Conference in 2015. Although my agency had been using Consumer Action publications for six years, the 2015 conference was my very first live, multi-day training event. It was different from the other trainings I had participated in because the setting was more intimate, which enabled me to interact with other community partners. At the conference, no one was a stranger; it felt more like a family coming together to celebrate their accomplishments for the year. In the end, the event enhanced my ability to do my job by providing me with the opportunity to meet staff from other agencies that are doing the same type of work and by giving me different ideas and resources to take back to my agency.
What is one best practice that you would like to share with other network partners?
Use Consumer Action’s publications! They contain very useful information and have been beneficial, for instance, in helping my clients acquire the knowledge that they need prior to meeting for one-on-one counseling sessions.