Financial coaching program expands to southern Delaware
December 11, 2012By Mark Eichmann
Sussex County Council will team up with $tand By Me to provide one-on-one financial coaching for the county's nearly 500 employees.
$tand By Me was started in June 2011 as a joint project between the state and the United Way of Delaware to educate low and moderate-income residents on how to manage their money. Sussex County will be the latest area of expansion after action by County Council today.
"The county is excited to partner with $tand By Me to offer this type of financial coaching to both our employees and the public- free of charge," said County Administrator Todd Lawson. "In tough economic times like these, what better way to help people than to give them the tools to help themselves improve their financial standing?"
The program does more than just one-on-one coaching. It also provides help with college and financial aid applications and provides access to more consumer-friendly alternatives to pay-day loans and check cashing stores. "It is important to meet people where they are to make these services easy to access and user-friendly," said Mary Dupont, director of Financial Empowerment for the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. "We are very excited about bringing this important program to Sussex County."
The county's public libraries will start offering the $tand By Me program in January. "The $tand By Me program will give the public one more reason to get inside their local library," says Sussex County Department of Libraries Director Kathy Graybeal. "Libraries are so much more than just books. They're media centers, they're job centers, they're resources for the entire community."
Sussex County's $tand By Me nonprofit partner will be the Bridgeville location of Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County. The first financial empowerment center was started at the Hudson State Service Center in Newark. The program is also offered on both the Wilmington and Stanton campuses of Delaware Technical and Community College, along with the West End Neighborhood House and the Claymont Community Center. Financial coaches are available on-site at employer locations in all three counties including ShopRite Supermarkets, the Christiana Hilton, Walgreens, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services and Dover Downs Hotel & Casino.