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Detroit and Wayne County to open one-stop financial counseling shop

Detroit among 12 cities nationally selected to receive grant to provide free financial counseling to low-income residents

Financial Empowerment Center made possible through funds from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund

The City of Detroit has been selected as one of 12 cities nationally to receive a grant and technical support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund to help low- and moderate-income residents improve their financial condition.

The city of Detroit partnered with Wayne County on its application and plan to use the resources to open up a physical location in Detroit where residents can go to get free one-on-one counseling. The FEC Public program is supported by a $7,750,000 investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of their American Cities initiative.

The grants will fund a Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) within the city where professionally trained FEC counselors will help individuals and families with low and moderate incomes to:

manage their finances
pay down debt
increase savings
establish and build credit
access safe and affordable mainstream banking products

The city and county will work together in the coming months to identify a location for the FEC. At the core of the FEC model is the integration of counseling into other social services, including housing and foreclosure prevention, workforce development, prisoner reentry, benefits access, domestic violence services, and more.

Mayor Mike Duggan said his Department of Neighborhoods will lead the city’s outreach effort to make sure these services reach the residents who need them.

“The most basic thing we can do to help our residents improve their economic situation is to help them to better manage their personal finances,” said Mayor Duggan. “I am grateful to the Bloomberg Philanthropies and Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund for helping to make these important services available to our residents.”

The national FEC Public platform promotes scale and sustainability for the growing movement of professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a free public service.

“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 Duggan and the City of Detroit are joining a national movement to bring free, high-quality financial counseling as a public service to their residents; we are proud to partner with Mayor Duggan and Bloomberg Philanthropies on this critical work.”

“Financial Empowerment Centers are exactly the kind of bold idea that should spread between cities. It is a proven model that helps low-income citizens and we are delighted to be doubling- down on our investment in this initiative,” said James Anderson, head of Government Innovation at Bloomberg Philanthropies.

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 works in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies and other generous sponsors to support our work. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter at @CFEFund.

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