Specialized Place-Based Financial Capability Programming
In 2013, the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood (BPN), Belmont, and Erie Community College entered into a partnership for a new initiative through the Annie E. Casey Foundation Family Centered Community Change (FCCC) pilot program. Lead by the Westminster Foundation though M&T Bank, the program goal is to integrate services for children and adults in high-poverty neighborhoods in order to strengthen the entire family. Belmont’s role in the FCCC pilot program is to promote economic self-sufficiency through the provision of financial and housing coaching services directly in the BPN schools.
The Family Stability Program provides full time housing case management and temporary financial assistance to low income families with children in specific Buffalo Public Schools who are experiencing housing instability. Belmont staff address the family’s reasons for housing instability; provides rental counseling and housing search assistance; benefit screening to secure income supports; financial coaching to develop financial capabilities; provides temporary financial assistance to secure housing and needed household items; and along with the Siemer Institute, take a holistic approach to address the family’s needs by partnering with family support specialists, parent advocates, and school social workers.
Developed using the principals of human centered program design, Go Buffalo Mom provides personalized transportation education and trip planning services to low-income pregnant women, along with a financial education and savings programming to make transportation more affordable. Belmont's Financial Coach works in the prenatal clinics with the moms on housing stability and building financial capabilities. Moms in the program have the option to open and save money in a dedicated savings account and are matched with a bus pass to meet their transportation needs. Program partners include the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, Catholic Health, and Kaleida Health.
United Way Works
Launched in November 2008, Belmont provides financial education and linkages to local programs for families that have exceeded their 60-month time limit for receipt of federal cash assistance. Through funding provided through the United Way of Buffalo & Erie county, Belmont delivers financial management and life-skills education and one‐on‐one financial counseling/goal setting weekly at 4 United Way Works locations throughout Erie County.