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Money Matters: Financial Literacy and Education

Cuyahoga County Public Library
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Innovation Leader: Fatima Perkins, Adult Services Manager, fperkins@cuyahogalibrary.org

Problem Statement

The economic recession has devastated Cuyahoga County, compounded by a decrease in manufacturing jobs and an increase in foreclosures in the region’s shaky housing market. Advertisements promising relief from financial troubles bombard consumers, leaving financially illiterate members of our community at risk of predation by scammers and unethical debt collectors. Cuyahoga County Public Library needed to provide a trusted platform where consumers could receive information on and assistance with their finances.

Innovation

Huntington Bank provided a $12,000 grant for Cuyahoga County Public Library to implement the yearlong Money Matters program. Each month, three branches in working-class communities offer workshops open to Cuyahoga County residents. These workshops help consumers build financial knowledge while providing practical tips to free them of debt, build their assets, rehabilitate their credit and avoid financial predators. What’s more, consumer credit, bankruptcy and foreclosure counselors are available at programs to assist participants in a stress-free, no-pressure environment. Money Matters covers a variety of financial topics. Programs include Budget Bonanza; Finance Frenzy; Sensational Savings; Home Buyer Boot Camp; The Pros and Cons of Loans; Family Fun With Finances – Family Financefest; Investment 101; Retirement Rendezvous; Book Discussion – Rich Dad, Poor Dad; and Purse to Portfolio – Millionaire Mom.

Progress

For consumers who struggle to pay bills or worry about the cost of their child’s education, Cuyahoga County Public Library’s Money Matters program provides a starting point toward financial success. Knowing how to manage money and making sound financial decisions will create a secure financial future for the residents of our county.