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Group and Individualized Financial Education

Jose Lamas is the Southwest Region’s Family Resiliency local program educator. This spring, Worthington Community Education Director Sharon Johnson requested that Jose teach a tenant education class for Karen families who are new to the community. Jose taught the class in June, using University of Minnesota Extension's RentWise curriculum for the session. Participants reported on their evaluation that they had learned: "How to communicate with the landlord"; "How to report if something is broken"; and "How to take care of my home."

In addition to doing financial education workshops for groups of people, Jose also provides individualized financial education in one-on-one settings. Jose has established himself as a trusted resource within the Latino community. From May to July of this year, Jose met with 44 individuals about a wide variety of financial issues. Approximately half of the visits were with individuals he has assisted in the past.

The individual sessions range from thirty to ninety minutes. People find out about FD’s services from referrals, business cards, newsletters, and brochures. Most of these financial sessions are with Spanish-speaking individuals who are seeking assistance in navigating the complex American financial system and wanting to learn new knowledge and skills to help them successfully manage their finances. Some meetings involve providing technical assistance, such as contacting debt collectors, finding immigration attorneys, completing employment applications, passport applications, enrolling in a Home Stretch workshop, scheduling appointments with Social Security, and completing insurance forms. Other sessions focus on setting goals, making decisions, developing a budget/spending plan, or identifying strategies to improve a credit report.

Jose Lamas
Community Program Associate

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