Since 2006, PACE’s Financial Education & Asset Building Program has helped over 9,800 low-income individuals and families move toward greater self sufficiency by accumulating savings and purchasing long-term assets. Through programs such as PACE’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) low-income households can have their income tax returns prepared, free of charge, and apply for Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC). In order to help individuals address their families’ financial challenges, PACE also offers one-on-one counseling, workshops, and classes that provide tools to achieve financial security.
Additionally, PACE’s Individual Development Account (IDA) program has been tremendously successful in helping clients realize monetary savings in order to acquire their assets, capitalize on their small business, or afford post-secondary education/training. In Los Angeles County the target communities that particularly benefit from PACE’s Financial Literacy & Asset Building Program are low-income, ethnic minority populations.
A significant number of these clients are immigrants, refugees, or asylees who have significant barriers to employment such as: limited language proficiency, lack of transportation, cultural considerations, lack of job skills, and limited work history in the United States. By gaining an understanding of finance and the steps they can take to improve their financial situation, they can dramatically improve the stability of their family, their living conditions, and the prospects of their financial security.