Press release from the United Way of Allen County:
High Unemployment Rates, Growing Foreclosure Numbers Make 2009 Money Smart Week More Important Than Ever
In the midst of growing foreclosure rates and high unemployment numbers, local Money Smart Week partners are encouraging area residents to educate themselves about managing their finances.
Money Smart Week partners are offering a free Money Smart event Saturday, October 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Abundant Life Tabernacle, 3301 E. Coliseum Blvd. The highlight of the event is a 10 a.m. panel discussion with a representative from the Indiana Secretary of State’s office, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, United Way CEO Jerry Peterson, Ken Williams from the IRS and Urban League Director Jonathan Ray.
“Allen County has been especially hard hit by the shaky economy,” said Jerry Peterson, president and CEO of United Way of Allen County. “Our unemployment rate stands at ten percent and the number of calls to United Way’s 2-1-1 Call Center is growing every month. It is imperative that we place a priority on financial literacy and help provide people with the information they need to make smart choices with their money.”
At the end of August, Allen County’s unemployment rate was 10 percent, up from the August 2008 rate of 6.2 percent, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development website. According to the RealtyTrac website, Indiana had 6,422 foreclosure filings in August of 2009, compared with 5,278 filings in August of 2008.
“Dozens of local partners are working hard to provide residents with crucial information about their finances,” said Vickie Hadley, this year’s chair of Allen County’s Money Smart Week and the Consumer and Family Science Extension Educator of the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. “This year’s event will be packed with excellent information for people who have recently lost a job, for those struggling to make ends meet, or for anyone interested in free and sound financial advice.”
After the panel discussion, various agencies will present educational information and displays covering topics such as: How to Save Money, Stretching Your Dollar, Help with Applying for Indiana Unemployment Benefits and Food Stamps, Budgeting and Saving, Getting a Bank Account, and Improving Your Money Management Skills.
Local partners in this year’s Money Smart efforts include: Volunteer Center @ RSVP, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, Internal Revenue Service, The Indiana Secretary of State, Junior Achievement, Euell A. Wilson Center, Lake City Bank, United Way of Allen County, Fort Wayne Housing Authority, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Northeast Indiana, National City Bank, City of Fort Wayne, Wells Fargo Community Development/Social Responsibility Group, Fort Wayne Urban League, Hispanic Leadership Coalition of Northeast Indiana, Public Service Credit Union, Abundant Life Church, Fifth Third Bank, NE IN Continuum of Care Coalition, and Community Connections.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, along with 176 partner organizations, is promoting the fourth annual Indiana Money Smart Week October 10-17, 2009. Events and activities take place throughout the state and Midwest to help people learn better money management techniques. For more information about Indiana and Midwest events, visit on-line or call the Money Smart Week Hotline 1-877-MNY-SMRT (1-877-669-7678).