Philabundance began our first pilot collaboration with Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery and Delaware Counties and The Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities (PCRC). The pilot focuses on combining food resources with case management and financial coaching to move families toward long-term stability.
Philabundance is providing the overall collective impact backbone services as well as food and logistics. We are also providing the data management and evaluation as described in the next section. Habitat is providing financial literacy education and coaching and PCRC is providing food cupboard administration and case management services.
The pilot includes two program cohorts, with Cohort 1 running from February 2019 through December 2020 and Cohort 2 from July 2019 through June 2021. Base services, including food and case management, are being offered throughout the pilot period. Additional interventions will be offered at various phases throughout the program.
To date, seven families have participated in this innovative pilot. Families have attended Habitat MontDelco’s, Almost Home program, which helps participants become financially stable through education, group support and a private financial coach. The program runs for six weeks and free childcare and meals are offered during classes. Ninety-four percent of Almost Home participants have created an emergency fund of $500 or more; those who do reach this goal receive a $250 incentive to continue their good work.
PCRC assists each family to ensure access to household assistance, supportive services, referrals for childcare and food through their choice food pantry.
Over the first year of this pilot, we have seen the following changes and improvements in cohort participants:
- Knowledge of financial tools and good financial behaviors
- Participation in the mainstream banking system with checking and or savings accounts
- Increased savings and setting savings goals as part of stability plan
- More consistently paying bills on time
- Increased food security due to access to PCRC food cupboard and grocery gift cards