Catholic Charities: Money School Starts; Helping Young Immigrants

Guiel Hausen educates young HIspanics on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative.

The Money School is a new, exciting and much needed financial literacy program being offered by Catholic Charities of Shreveport. Building on the tremendous success of this program, first developed by Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, the Money School is now available in Shreveport-Bossier. Since the recession, incomes have not been keeping pace with the ever increasing cost of living. More and more people find they are working hard and still barely making it, or are falling behind in rent, mortgage payments, auto loans and credit card payments. Now more than ever we need financial literacy. Every day more people are joining the ranks of “the working poor.”

The Money School curriculum is designed to educate and empower people to make fundamentally sound financial decisions. Decisions that are congruent with their own dreams, goals and values. Upon completing the six week program, attendees will have the option of being assigned a personal financial coach. They will meet with the coach monthly to work towards their financial goals. As an additional incentive to promote savings, Catholic Charities is offering up to $125 in matched savings for those who take advantage of the coaching program. If you are interested in  becoming a financial coach, please call Carl Piehl at 318-865-0200.

One of the most exciting opportunities for our young immigrant population is the new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative designed to assist undocumented young immigrants who may be qualified for relief from deportation and to gain work authorization. Many young people who were brought to U.S. by their immigrant parents as small children will now have an opportunity to take part in the American Dream of working and going to school to provide a better life for themselves and their families. Catholic Charities is working in concert with local agencies to help them reach this goal. Our Immigration Advocates, Guiel Hausen and Briana Bianca, are working one-on-one with individuals to help them complete the necessary application requirements.

Those who will benefit from the DACA policy are undocumented immigrants younger than 30 who were brought to the U.S. before the age of 16 and have lived in the U.S. for at least five years. They must also have no criminal record. Those who meet the requirements, will be granted a two year deferral from deportation proceedings. An employment authorization will also be issued to allow them to work legally.

by Theresa Mormino, Catholic Charities of Shreveport

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