city of Pensacola press release:
Mayor Hayward has launched the Mayor’s Financial Prosperity Partnership in an effort to promote greater financial literacy throughout the community. The Mayor has invited area banks to join the partnership and to help provide funding and volunteers to support its efforts.
“Developing practical money management skills makes a huge difference in the lives of those living on the margins, where money is scarce,” said Mayor Hayward. “We have citizens that are living off the financial grid and paying exorbitant fees to predatory payday lenders and check cashing services. Connecting unbanked citizens with banks and credit unions will provide them the opportunity to build credit and access a wide variety of financial services,” said Mayor Hayward.
“Wells Fargo is proud to support the Mayor in the Financial Prosperity Partnership,” said Valerie Jenkins, Senior Community Development Officer for Wells Fargo. “In addition to free tax preparation, one of the keys of this initiative is the financial education that is invaluable in helping members of the community improve their financial prosperity.”
Wells Fargo is helping to launch the first quarter of this initiative by contributing $10,000 toward free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) for low-income families. The program will be administered by United Way of Escambia County.
“Free tax preparation helps families in need to save a little money on preparation fees and ensures they receive the deductions and credits to which they’re entitled,” said Mayor Hayward.
The free tax assistance will be available to families with a household income at or below $57,000. Assistance will be available at a number of volunteer income tax preparation sites or online at MyFreeTaxes.com/UnitedWayESCAROSA. Interested individuals can also dial 211 for more information.
“United Way of Escambia County is excited to be a part of the Mayor’s Financial Prosperity Partnership,” said Andrea Krieger, United Way of Escambia County CEO. “We are humbled by our continued partnership with Mayor Hayward and with partners like Wells Fargo who invest in our initiatives to support financial literacy and stability. We hope that this Prosperity Partnership will allow us to expand our current financial literacy initiatives that serve those who are struggling to make ends meet in our community.”
Pensacola City Councilman Charles Bare also joined Mayor Hayward for the announcement. In addition to Wells Fargo and United Way of Escambia County, other organizations participating in the Mayor’s Financial Prosperity Partnership include the Alliance for Economic Inclusion, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and the Florida Prosperity Partnership. Other participating financial institutions include Hancock Bank, Regions Bank, SunTrust Bank, and Bank of America.