Financial literacy is a building block to preventing homelessness.
With that in mind, the Continuum of Care of Madison County has created a video about budgeting money. The video comes with a workbook. The group wants to get the instructional package into as many social service agencies as possible to reach as many people as possible.
The video sets the scene with a woman who is having trouble making ends meet. She tries to borrow money from friends, who instead help her figure out where she is spending her money and how she can save money.
People watching the video can follow along with the step-by-step instructions by filling out the accompanying workbook.
The first step is to list income: wages, child support, social security, unemployment, food stamps, welfare checks, etc.
The second step is to list fixed spending: rent or mortgage payments, utilities, insur-ance, credit cards, car payments, childcare, rental center payments, and so on.
The third step is to list flexible spending. This part of the video includes tips for saving money. For instance, purchase store brand grocery items instead of name brands. Pack more, eat out less. Shop for lower gas prices. Check out thrift stores for clothing. Buy generic medicine. Give up premium television channels.
Once the income and expenditure lists are made, a person can determine the strategy they want to follow to stay within budget—make more money, spend less money, or both. The video also has a warning against “quick loan” and rental centers.
The video, which was produced with help from students in the video production program at Tolles Career and Technical Center, is aimed at adults.
“Budgeting…is a family thing. So the video is meant to help at home,” said Madison County Commissioner David Dhume, a member of the Continuum of Care.
The group also hopes to create a similar video aimed at students.
“We believe financial literacy starts before students get out of school,” said Jim Cesa, director of Community Action.
The video is part of a long list of action items the Continuum is tackling in an effort to end homelessness in Madison County in 10 years by promoting stable homes and stable families.
Homelessness in Madison County isn’t as much about homeless people living on the streets. It’s more about families living with other family members or friends, or people who are temporarily dislodged from their residence.
The Continuum is made up of people from government, social service, law enforcement, business and other community entities. The Osteopathic Heritage Foundation (OHF) is supplying funding for the project. The National Alliance to End Homelessness also supports the effort.
OHF has partnered with 17 counties in the central rural and Appalachian regions of Ohio. The initiative is called Rural Homeless Initiative of Southeastern and Central Ohio.