City of Pueblo Launches Financial Empowerment Center, Offering Financial Counseling as Free Public Service
The City of Pueblo has announced the opening of a local Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) to support residents with free, one-on-one financial counseling to local residents
Tuesday, Oct. 24 – The City of Pueblo, in partnership with the national nonprofit organization Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) announced today the grand opening of City of Pueblo’s Financial Empowerment Center (FEC), offering professional, one-on-one financial counseling and coaching as a free public service to local residents. The grand opening took place at the Department of Human Services with Pueblo County Government and other co-location partners with United Way of Pueblo County. Residents can access Pueblo FEC services by scheduling an appointment calling 719-225-8580 or for more information, visit www.pueblounitedway.org/fec .
At Pueblo FEC, professionally trained FEC counselors help individuals and families with low and moderate incomes 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.
“The City of Pueblo is proud to officially launch the Pueblo FEC with our partners at United Way of Pueblo County,” said Mayor of Pueblo Nick Gradisar. “We have been working toward this grand opening and have cultivated great partnerships in our community with our co-locations to help support the financial goals of our residents.”
Mayor Gradisar understands the complexity of financial issues and the importance of offering services that are high-quality, individualized, and delivered by a trusted source. The Pueblo FEC model is offered by the City of Pueblo and delivered through United Way of Pueblo County as a free public service. FEC coaching is intended to develop long-term relationships and is offered conveniently with locations throughout Pueblo for effective and efficient processes for access to FEC services.
“As United Way of Pueblo County (UWPC) celebrates 100 years in service to the community, we are honored to partner with the City of Pueblo as the nonprofit provider for the Financial Empowerment Center (FEC). Economic mobility and opportunity is a priority pillar of the work we do, and this program will help provide the opportunity for all in our region to build a foundation of financial well-being to have the tools to address current challenges and work towards long-term achievement, ” shared United Way of Pueblo County President/CEO Shanna Farmer. “None of this work can be done alone, and we are excited to have a knowledgeable and professionally trained FEC team and to work with many partners and supporters across the community to make this critical program a reality.”
Pueblo FEC co-locations include the Housing Authority of the City of Pueblo, Mariposa Center for Safety, Posada, Pueblo Community Health Center, Pueblo County Department of Human Services (DHS), and the Pueblo Workforce Center. Clients can also receive information and referrals through area partner organizations and programs.
“Local leaders know first-hand the connection between family financial stability and community financial stability,” said Jonathan Mintz, President and CEO of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “Mayor Gradisar and the City of Pueblo is part of a growing national movement to bring free, high-quality financial counseling as a public service to their residents; we are proud to partner with Mayor Gradisar and United Way of Pueblo County to help residents work towards a stronger financial future.”
First piloted in New York City under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2008, FECs across the country have worked with over 150,000 clients, helping them reduce individual debt by over $225 million, and increasing their families’ savings by close to $45 million. In addition, a CFE Fund evaluation showed that this program works even 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. The Pueblo FEC is supported by the CFE Fund, the American Rescue Plan Act, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA), Pueblo County Department of Human Services, and United Way of Pueblo County.
About the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund)
The CFE Fund supports municipal efforts to improve the financial stability of households by leveraging opportunities unique to local government. By translating cutting edge experience with large scale programs, research, and policy in cities of all sizes, the CFE Fund assists mayors and other local leaders in to identify, develop, fund, implement, and research pilots and programs that help families build assets and make the most of their financial resources. The CFE Fund is currently working in over 100 cities and counties, and has disbursed over $64 million to local governments and their partners to support these efforts. For more information, please visit www.cfefund.org or follow us on X, formerly Twitter at @CFEFund.
About the City of Pueblo
The City of Pueblo was established in 1842, incorporated in 1870 and is proudly called the “Home of Heroes” because of the record of four living recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor who claim Pueblo as their hometown. The City Seal, which is under the five flags, represents the countries and territories that held dominion over the Pueblo area which include France, Mexico, Texas, Spain and of course the United States of America. Pueblo was established at the confluence of the Arkansas River and Fountain Creek and is well known for the Pueblo green chile grown in the region, the steel mill and the strong ethnic ties which create the welcoming community.