Jerri has a learning disability and works part-time at a local fast food chain. She is a single mom who has a 30-year-old son with a disability who lives with her. Jerri started coming to a VITA site eight years ago to have her taxes prepared at no cost. There she learned about financial education programs that could help her budget and manage expenses. Her modest salary combined with a fixed income from government benefits made it difficult to pay bills and the pair accumulated a significant amount of credit card debt.
Following her initial VITA tax appointment, Jerri signed up for one-on-one budgeting sessions and made plans to improve her financial situation. She received specific, individualized assistance in organizing her financial documents, developing a monthly budget and prioritizing her spending. Jerri's son learned to stop impulse buying at the grocery store. Gradually, with support, better record-keeping and motivation to change her habits, Jerri got control of her finances, paid down a significant portion of her debt and improved her credit score.
After participating in the VITA program for several years, Jerri learned about the matched savings program and, with continued support, began working toward her dream of buying a house. Jerri was able to save $10,000 over a 15-month period toward a down payment and completed the Homebuyer Education Course. She is working to convert her rental voucher to a housing voucher and is looking for an affordable home in her neighborhood.
United Way Platform: Income
Focus Area: CA$H of the Greater Capital Region
Funded Agency: Wildwood Programs, Inc.