As many of you know, Christ in Action is constantly adapting to the needs of West County’s population. Perhaps the most important changes we have made over the past few years include a move towards helping clients achieve long-term financial stability. This means providing long-term change resources–including debt management programming, referrals for resources, financial assistance, financial education, and (hopefully) soon–match savings accounts.
Due to the results of an outstanding amount of research and time we (and other agencies and churches) have put into this topic, we are shifting our focus away from emergency funding in order to promote independence and long-term financial change. Christ in Action will still help people in emergencies find resources. We will still walk with them through their struggles and support them through hard times. However, this also means that we are moving away from assisting with immediate “emergency funding” (rent, utilities, car repair costs). We still help with those things as the client progresses through our program, but the priority is focusing on “how can we help the client’s monthly income outweigh the monthly expenses?” Too often, this problem is put on a back burner and it creates a loop in the cycle of poverty as costs add up over time. Our ultimate goal is to help clients create a sustainable, financially healthy lifestyle. The changes we have made over time support that goal and empower our clients for the long-term.
If you’re interested in learning more about Christ in Action, or want to find out how you can get involved, contact Mandy Branch (Christ in Action Coordinator at Pathfinder Church) at 636-779-2311.