Neighborhood trust helps people who are in debt
The New York Times recently had an article that I think needs to be repeated in every Kansas newspaper, not just in New York City: it's about taking care of debt, and feeling less anxiety - quite possibly often the beginnings of illness - because of it.
The first cities outside of New York City are the winners of a competition - they are Philadelphia, Nashville, Denver, San Antonio and Lansing, Mich. But never, to my knowledge, has an entire state taken on this Living Cities' Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. Now is the time for Lawrence, and Kansas, to take on this undertaking, making it the first in the nation to do so.
I know from first hand experience - I know lots of immigrants, as well as people from this country who are not good in communications skills and really don't know where to turn next.
Two paragraphs from the article are very important:
"If the rich need personalized financial advice and hands-on-help, poor people need it more. When there is no cushion, one small mistake can be catastrophic - if you relay on a car to get to work, for example, missing a car payment can result in the loss of a job."
"As consumers, people have rights - but they don't know about them." ... "most of his clients come to their first meeting with a stack of collection letters - unopened. 'Can I open these envelopes for you? We have to deal with them,' James tells them. At the first meeting, he tries to get a complete picture of income, debts and expenses." ...
Now, click on the following to read the whole article.
When financial matters aren't taken care of and fall behind, with it comes anxiety and often illness. I suspect that, if these centers were open throughout Kansas, many people would, as a result of visiting them, have better lives, enjoy better families, and have far less sickness.
I know that some churches in Lawrence are having seminars, and that's a good start, but this needs to be done not only for this state but for every other state in the union. Kansas could be the first to implement this kind of program nationwide.
Why not do it?
and: Oakland issues municipal debt card
This is a very interesting idea. It just made the news today. I have to find out more about it. Any comments are welcome!