PUEBLO—The City of Pueblo, in partnership with the national Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE) announced the establishment of the Pueblo Financial Empowerment Center, offering professional, on-on-one financial counseling and coaching as a free public service to local residents.
On Monday, Feb. 27, Pueblo City Council approved to move forward with United Way of Pueblo County as the contracted nonprofit counseling provider. The Pueblo FEC plan to begin offering this service to residents this summer, a grand opening date will be announced soon.
“We are excited to announce the establishment of the Pueblo Financial Empowerment Center in our community because we know this will be a tremendous asset to meet the needs of our citizens,” said Mayor of Pueblo Nick Gradisar. “This is a way to better support Pueblo residents as they navigate their finances. The FEC will help them understand their own economic health amidst inflation, coming out of the pandemic and facing every day financial challenges.”
At the Pueblo FEC, professionally trained FEC counselors help individuals and families with low and moderate income manage their finances, pay down debt, increase savings, establish and build credit and access safe and affordable mainstream banking products. At the core of the FEC model is the integration of counseling into other social services, such as housing and foreclosure prevention, workforce development, prisoner reentry, benefits access, domestic violence services and more. All of these services will be provided through the nonprofit provider United Way of Pueblo County.
“United Way of Pueblo County is honored to have been selected by the City of Pueblo to serve as the nonprofit provider for this critical program for our community,” shared Vice President of Strategic Operations Bianca Hicks. “We look forward to supporting client needs while empowering them to build a foundation of financial well-being to address current challenges and for long term impact and achievement.”
The City of Pueblo joins Denver and Roaring Fork Valley as the third city in Colorado to host a FEC supported by a municipal government organization.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser appointed Chief of Staff Laura Solano to the Office of Financial Empowerment’s inaugural Financial Empowerment Council. Solano began serving in the position in November and her service furthers the City of Pueblo’s commitment to financial empowerment locally while expanding opportunities to collaborate statewide.
First piloted in New York City under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2008, FECs across the country have worked with almost 142,000 clients, helping them reduce individual debt by over $211 million, and increasing their families’ savings by close to $43 million. IN addition, a CFE evaluation showed that this program works ever for residents with very low incomes and other complex financial challenges. The City of Pueblo is one of several dozen local governments working to launch or have already launched a local FEC initiative.
For more information about the Pueblo FEC contact the City of Pueblo FEC Coordinator Julia Cordova at email@example.com or 719-553-2614.