Free financial planning counselors will serve low-income Philadelphians

Mayor Michael Nutter.

What began five years ago as a New York City-based pilot program aimed at alleviating poverty will now be expanded to Philadelphia and four other cities with the award of a $3.3 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies through the Living Cities’ Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, the city announced yesterday.

The money will enable the construction of Financial Empowerment Centers where the city, in conjunction with nonprofit firm Clarifi, will offer free one-on-one financial counseling to low-income residents.

“We know one of the key pathways out of poverty is to increase the financial stability of low-income households by boosting income, decreasing debt and increasing access to saving and asset-building opportunities,” Mayor Michael Nutter said in a statement. “By offering personalized financial literacy services to low-income individuals, we make it possible for Philadelphia families to move toward self-sufficiency and, ultimately, better position our city economically for the future.”

Two empowerment centers and four satellite locations will open this March in neighborhoods with high concentrations of low-income residents, immigrants and new workforce entrants. They have a goal of educating 9,000 low-income Philadelphians in the program’s first three years.

“As a nonprofit provider of financial counseling to over 600,000 individuals in the Philadelphia region for 47 years, Clarifi is committed and excited to expand its resources to support the Financial Empowerment initiative,” Clarifi president Patty Hasson said in a statement.

The Financial Empowerment initiative is also expanding to Denver, Nashville, San Antonio and Lansing, Mich. The five cities were chosen based on the presence of committed leadership and strong public-private partnerships to move the program forward.

“The city of Philadelphia has demonstrated a real desire to help families achieve long-term financial stability,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.

“The Mayors Project at Bloomberg Philanthropies spreads effective solutions to challenges that cities across the county are facing. We hope through this grant that the effective Financial Empowerment Center model will create measurable change for low-income residents in Philadelphia.”

By the numbers


Cities were chosen to receive grants.

$16.2 million

Was invested in the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund by Bloomberg Philanthropies to provide the grants.


Low-income Philadelphians will be educated in the program’s first three years.


New Yorkers have reduced their debt by more than $9 million since the program began there five years ago.


Supporters say man accused of robbery was misidentified

A Liberian immigrant couple charged with extorting money from an elderly woman in March will be in court Thursday for a bail hearing, but supporters say it's a case of…


Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…


Could this be the end of ICE holds…

Mayor Michael Nutter directed city agencies to stop cooperating with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer holds via executive order today.


Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…


‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'


Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.


'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.


2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version


Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.


MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind


Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.


This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…


This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…


Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.


5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.