United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) has been awarded $275,000 in state funding. State Representative Felicia Brabec championed this initiative in the legislature and helped UWWC secure a Michigan Enhancement Grant in the Fiscal Year 22 budget.
“I am so excited to see all the great work United Way of Washtenaw County will be able to do with this grant funding,” said Brabec. “ We know that our community has work to do in terms of addressing the equity gap. Offering financial stabilization and workforce development programs will improve the overall economic stability of our community and help to ensure that our residents can realize their full potential, regardless of their zip code. I am so pleased we were able to secure state funding for this all-important work.”
The grant will support two UWWC programs over a two year period, free financial coaching and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to offer free tax preparations. The VITA Program provides free tax preparation services to families and individuals with low to moderate incomes in Washtenaw County, helping them receive the maximum refund possible as well as tax credits for which they are eligible. Appointments can be made by calling 2-1-1. VITA also provides an avenue to connect community members with other financial services, such as financial coaching through TrustPlus.
UWWC has partnered with TrustPlus to provide free one-on-one support to help people reach their financial goals. This service is confidential and conducted virtually. TrustPlus coaches can work with you on a range of financial topics including: Building credit so you can qualify for the best credit cards, personal loans, or mortgage loans; reducing troublesome debt -- from collection accounts, medical bills, and student loans; budgeting and building a safety net for emergencies.
“I want to thank Representative Brabec for centering her community and working tirelessly to secure funding for local initiatives. Filing taxes is a key part of building financial stability and independence. Tax returns are needed to access housing supports, for mortgage loan approval, and to verify income for other benefits. Tax refunds are often the single largest sum of money a family will receive in a year and can act as a savings plan, an opportunity to pay down debt, or fund larger purchases such as replacing a car.” shared Pam Smith, UWWC President & CEO. “When families become financially stable, our whole community thrives.”
If you or someone you know needs help with filing taxes, visit https://www.uwwashtenaw.org/free-tax-preparation for support. If you or someone you know would like FREE one on one support to help with financial goals, visit https://www.uwwashtenaw.org/financial-coaching to learn more.