Stopping the cycle
A glaring and somewhat ironic similarity between poverty and wealth is typically, both are passed down from one generation to the next. Racial inequality and the consistent underfunding of communities perpetuates the drastically unlevel playing field. Many of society’s impoverished have been trapped in a repetitive cycle. The mission of LIFT is to stop it.
LIFT is a nonprofit, operating in New York, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. Their programs address the effects of poverty by investing in parents. LIFT members typically report reduced stress, and improved finances within three months.
A conduit for change
Parents usually find LIFT through partnerships with community colleges, childcare centers and referrals. To become a member, you must be a parent of a child under the age of eight and have stable housing. Fredy Salgero, the Program Coordinator in the Los Angeles facility says LIFT empowers families by tackling three major issues: finances, education and career.
“Members get one-on-one coaching sessions. We have conversations about their long-term goals in those three important areas,” Salgero explains. “By focusing on the parent, we invariably help the child,” he says, adding, “That’s the two generational approach.”
LIFT is a conduit for change. They act as a menu and mentor. The organization provides a multitude of options, offers advice and then allows parents to make their own choices. Members are informed of educational opportunities, from English as a second language classes to computer literacy. In many cases the goal is to connect them to the college system. Help pursuing a career is also available. For example, if an individual is considering becoming a nurse, LIFT gives them information on classes and nursing careers.
The SCE Credit Union connection
The teaching of basic financial skills is where SCE Credit Union and LIFT converge. The Credit Union has always believed spreading financial literacy is among the most important contributions they can make in the effort to end generational poverty. The Credit Union conducted a series of financial workshops for LIFT members in both English and Spanish. The workshops were conducted virtually and covered things ranging from balancing a checkbook to budgeting and building credit.
Fredy Salgero praises the Credit Union’s participation. “SCE Credit Union is simply a great community partner and resource. They do a great job and are easy to work with. The LIFT members who attended the seminars are better informed. Knowledge empowers.”
SCE Credit Union is always thrilled to work with organizations that dignify, elevate, advance, teach, strengthen, raise and rescue. Organizations exactly like LIFT.
To learn more or to make a donation go to – whywelift.org