NewsCovering Colorado


The Pueblo Financial Empowerment Center, offering free financial counseling to residents starting this summer

United Way of Pueblo County
Posted at 12:13 PM, Mar 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-06 20:53:07-05

PUEBLO, CO — The City of Pueblo announced Wednesday it will be launching financial counseling services to public residents as a free public service starting this summer.

The City of Pueblo is partnering with thenational Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE) to establish the Pueblo Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) which will offer one-on-one professional financial counseling services to Pueblo residents.

The goal of the Cities for Financial Empowerment fund is to embed stability and financial empowerment in local governments. The focus of the organization is on four key disciplines: assets building, banking access, consumer financial protection, and financial education and counseling.

Pueblo City Council approved the partnership on Monday, February 27th. Moving forward theUnited Way of Pueblo County will be the contracted counseling provider.

"If COVID has shown us anything, it's that any single one of us can be impacted regardless of socioeconomic status, regardless of how much money you do or don't bring in, so it's a service that's going to be readily available to anyone who needs it," said Vice President of Strategic Operations at United Way Bianca Hicks.

“We are excited to announce the establishment of the Pueblo Financial Empowerment Center in our community because we know this will be a tremendous asset to meet the needs of our citizens,” said Mayor of Pueblo Nick Gradisar. “This is a way to better support Pueblo residents as they navigate their finances. The FEC will help them understand their own economic health amidst inflation, coming out of the pandemic, and facing everyday financial challenges.”

At the Financial Empowerment Center, professionally trained financial counselors will be able to assist Pueblo residents and families with services like income management, paying down debt, increasing savings, establishing and building credit, and accessing safe and affordable mainstream banking products.

Counseling services regarding housing and foreclosure prevention, workforce development, prisoner reentry, benefits access, and domestic violence services will also be available at the FEC.

Pueblo will be the third city in Colorado to have an FEC supported by a municipal government organization following Denver, and one in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Financial Empowerment Centers were first piloted in New York City by then-Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, since then FECs across the country have eliminated over $211 million of individual debt, and increased families' savings by $43 million.

The City of Pueblo plans to announce the grand opening date of the program in the near future, but it is expected to be around
the beginning of Summer.


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