We are so happy to share with you that Scotiabank has generously invested $300,000, over three years, to establish the Scotiabank Family Finance Clinic at WoodGreen.
The clinic – an extension of our successful Financial Empowerment Services – provides a wide range of individualized programming to help families with low incomes better navigate their challenging financial situations. It has started to work with its second cohort of clients, guiding them to take positive steps in education, employment, and financial decision-making.
The clinic is filling a much-needed gap in our community. Even before COVID-19 hit, thousands of Toronto families were already struggling to meet basic needs. Many were living on the financial edge – with no savings – just one bump away from disaster. The pandemic has brought more and more families to the brink.
Some of the services that The Scotiabank Family Finance Clinic offers include personalized services such as tax preparation, and assistance in understanding and accessing benefits and credits through programs such as the Canada Learning Bond and the Disability Tax Credit. Over the course of an intensive, one-on-one, three-month program, our financial counsellors – registered social workers with a specialty in financial counselling – work with the families to increase their skills in areas such as budgeting, reducing debt, increasing savings, and understanding and improving credit ratings. Together with their counsellor, each family develops a financial plan, based on their individual circumstances.
The results are remarkable. Here’s what a graduate of the first cohort had to say about the program:
“This has made a difference in so many ways. I now have savings and a budget. In fact, now I have a plan and a schedule, which I know I must always follow. It's written down and it's on the fridge door so whenever I open my fridge, I am reminded of what I need to do to get where I want to go in the future. It has really helped me a lot.”
Scotiabank’s visionary gift to WoodGreen to enable this critical work is part of their ScotiaRISE initiative – a 10-year $500-million community investment initiative to promote economic resilience among disadvantaged groups and increase their likelihood of financial success.
Thank you so much to Scotiabank for this investment in the financial future of our clients and for helping us to make a difference!