The City of Columbus today launched a pilot program to connect more women, minorities, and families to available resources as part of a broader financial empowerment effort.
According to a recent report from the Women's Fund of Central Ohio and the Institute for Women's Policy Research, single women with children are the household type most likely to be in poverty.
Single women without children are the second-highest group in Columbus and Franklin County most likely to be in poverty. Women of color experience the greatest income disparity in the region. Through a partnership with LSS 211 Central Ohio and the Legal Aid Society of Columbus, residents can receive guidance from trained financial navigators on a variety of financial management issues.
"Insufficient income impacts the majority of individuals who contact LSS 211 on a daily basis which is increasing the need for providing resources during these challenging times," Executive Director of LSS 211 Central Ohio Courtney Walker said. "The pandemic has disproportionately impacted those who were already struggling financially, reaching out requesting resources for rent payment assistance or utility assistance or even just a food pantry appointment. LSS 211 is looking forward to connecting families to financial planning resources through the financial navigator program."
The pilot program reflects a broader strategy between the Columbus Women’s Commission and City Council member Elizabeth Brown to bring financial security within reach.
"The implementation of the work outlined within this Financial Empowerment Roadmap will help level the playing field for women across our city by providing the resources they need for financial empowerment and connecting them to opportunity and embodying the city's commitment to those things," Brown said. "This approach will improve our financial security across our city, but it will also strengthen our neighborhoods and the health and wellness of families in any corner and every corner of the city."
Columbus developed the roadmap through a grant from Cities for Financial Empowerment.