Financial Fair helps Rosewood area residents

See the novel way an organization came up with to give everyday folks access to top-shelf financial expertise …

Many neighbors from the Centennial and Glenfair neighborhoods come to seek expert financial advice during this Rosewood Initiative Financial Empowerment Clinic.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Many gatherings at the Rosewood Initiative Center on SE Stark Street near SE 162nd Avenue revolve around sharing food and making new connections.

And indeed there was food set out for both participants and volunteers to share during their Financial Empowerment Clinic, a day-long drop-in event held on March 1. But also on the menu were many volunteers – helping to provide information about taxes, investing, and legal assistance.

Volunteer Joseph Witt from the Financial Planners Association of Oregon & SW Washington helps Rosewood neighbor Andrianna West to better understand her own personal finances.

Rosewood Initiative Executive Director Jenny Glass helps guests better understand some of the government services available to them.

“This is a project of the Rosewood Initiative, in partnership with a lot of different organizations putting this on today,” explained Rosewood Initiative Executive Director Jenny Glass.

“We’re calling it a Financial Empowerment Clinic,” Glass told East Portland News. “We have REACH CDC, Cover Oregon, Innovative Changes, Vietnamese Community of Oregon doing taxes, and Metropolitan Family Services, just to mention some of the volunteers helping neighbors today.”

Helping connect guests with volunteers are Katie Dineen of Innovative Changes and Anya Nunan from Metro Family Services.

The idea of holding such an event started when she met with Innovative Changes staff, Glass said. “They help low-income people improve their long-term financial health – by offering financial education, responsible small-dollar consumer loans, credit-building techniques, and asset-building opportunities.

“So, we partnered with them to bring those resources here.”

Shirley Castaneda gets help from Paula Nguyen of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance.

This innovative program is important in the Rosewood area, Glass believes. “It seems well received. Look around; there are a lot of people here for this today.”

Many folks in this area can use almost any opportunity to build capacity in their own personal finances, Glass commented. “Like most of us, we can use help with personal budgeting, learning how to borrow money well, and doing our taxes.

“In short, this information it helps people live life well.”

To learn more about what the Rosewood Initiative offers, see their official website: CLICK HERE.

On our front page: Nanwei Su, with Legal Aid Services of Oregon answers questions.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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