Free financial navigator to help residents tackle COVID-19 financial challenges
Building on his administration's ongoing work to support residents financially impacted by COVID-19, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the launch of a Financial Navigator Program within the Office of Financial Empowerment. The program, launched in partnership with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund), is designed to help residents access free financial services that address the critical financial issues brought on by the pandemic.
"As we continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic, we know we must provide support for residents that goes beyond public health," said Mayor Walsh. "The Financial Navigator Program allows us to expand our work connecting residents with free financial resources to help tackle the unique challenges brought on by this crisis. No one should feel alone during this time. If you are having financial concerns, I urge you to reach out to our Financial Navigators who can help connect you with our financial empowerment services."
Starting today, OFE's trained Financial Navigators will be available remotely to provide guidance over the phone to help residents access available programs and services to manage income disruptions and other financial concerns as a result of COVID-19. Financial Navigators will help residents one-on-one to triage personal financial issues, identify immediate action steps to manage expenses and maximize income, and make referrals to both community-based and other city services.
Residents can access these remote services by completing this web form or calling 617-356-8229 to sign up. To complete the form, residents will need to provide their name, zip code, language preference, phone number, and email address. The Financial Navigator will then send a short service agreement and call the client to begin their personal session. In addition to English, Financial Navigators will be able to assist residents in the following languages: Haitian Creole, Spanish and Portuguese. For more information, please visit the Office of Financial Empowerment website.
"Financial distress is a primary part of the COVID-19 crisis, and we're pleased Mayor Walsh and his team is making this a priority for Boston residents," said Jonathan Mintz, President and CEO of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. "The Financial Navigators program will help Boston residents assess and prioritize their financial concerns and get connected with the right resources."
The City of Boston is launching the Financial Navigators program in partnership with the CFE Fund, which provided $80,000 grant funding along with significant technical assistance and training to launch the program in Boston and other cities and counties across the nation. The Financial Navigators initiative is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Citi Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and the Wells Fargo Foundation.
"Sound financial health is a critical component of addressing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on low-income and diverse communities in the U.S," said Sarah Bainton Kahn, VP of Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase & Co. "We are pleased to collaborate with the CFE Fund to help people in Boston to access the tools and services they need to build resiliency and advance their financial health."
"Communities across the country continue to face significant economic challenges as a result of COVID-19," said Brandee McHale, Head of Citi Community Investing and Development and President of the Citi Foundation. "To provide residents in Boston with the vital financial tools and support necessary to navigate the financial impacts of the pandemic, the Citi Foundation is proud to partner once again with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund to launch the Financial Navigators program."About the Mayor's Office of Financial Empowerment
Mayor Martin J. Walsh formed the Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) in 2014 to connect City residents with access to credit building programs, financial education, individualized financial coaching, and income support. Residents who seek to improve their financial situation can use these tools to achieve economic well-being and pursue financial prosperity. During the pandemic, free financial coaching is provided remotely. OFE is also a lead partner on Boston Builds Credit, the first municipal credit building program in the United States. OFE is an affiliate of the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development and the Boston Planning & Development Agency.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 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 has disbursed over $42 million to city governments and their partners to support these efforts. For more information, please visit www.cfefund.org or follow us on Twitter at @CFEFund.