The health of any community relies on a multitude of factors that influence the wellbeing of its members. These social determinants influence every aspect of the collective energy and resilience of regional populations. Factors such as environment, health, resource availability and education combine to make up the community’s capacity to function for the benefit of all.
The vibrancy of associated entities, including individuals, families and businesses depend on the physical, mental and financial health of each member, so that elements of each have profound effects on the entire community. Availability of financial services for low- and moderate-income families is a driving force that often compromises the vigour of associated populations.
An integral part of financial health is self-sufficiency. In the United States, Delaware provides a shining example of a community-centered approach that combines financial services with education to reach underserved markets.
“Stand By Me” is a collection of innovative, free services that is accessible to every citizen of Delaware, interested in improving their financial situation. The program offers one-on-one personal financial coaching, along with referrals to proven financial services and products. Assistance encompasses home buying, tax preparation and child care, as well as educational, business and retirement planning.
Delaware’s flagship program reaches and educates its audience by embedding in established local providers that already serve their target populations. By co-partnering with organizations, such as Head Start or West End Neighborhood House, this well-organized effort coordinates its activities through both government organizations and their non-profit partners. In collaboration with the United Way and funded mostly by financial institutions and foundations, both local and national, the program is having overwhelming positive impacts on Delaware’s financially underserved populations.