Financial Empowerment for New Americans

Have questions? Call our hotline to get answers: (802) 560-8078

New Americans can call our Financial Hotline to speak to someone in their primary language about their financial questions related to Covid-19 and social distancing. We can help you get the information you need about available resources in Vermont to help you with financial and credit management, food, housing, renters' rights, and finding a job. Our Community Ambassadors can help you in Arabic, French, Karen/Burmese, MaayMaay, Nepali, Somali, and Swahili. How? Call us at (802) 560-8078. Leave a message with your name, contact information, and the language you speak. We will call you back within 24 hours.

Visit our Hotline page for translations of this section.

Covid-19 concerns about unemployment, the stimulus checks, and EIDL/PPP loans for small businesses? Listen to these YouTube recordings in your primary language

Our Project Manager, Asma Abunaib, and our team of Community Ambassadors created interpreted audio files about unemployment, the stimulus checks, and EIDL/PPP loans for small businesses. Available in Arabic, Somali / MaayMaay, Swahili, French, Burmese, and Nepali. Click here to go to the YouTube playlist, then click on the language you need.

Each video references these links:

Other Questions?

Please contact our Project Manager, Asma Abunaib. You can reach Asma at (802) 860-1417 x117 or aabunaib@cvoeo.org.

More About the Financial Empowerment for New Americans Project

In 2018, we launched our Financial Empowerment for New Americans Project. We wanted to help New Americans gain accurate information about handling finances in the United States and access that information from people they trust. Through many discussions with community members and community partners, we developed an innovative program: Financial House Parties. Financial House Parties involve a group of 4 - 5 New Americans who speak the same language. The participants take turns hosting dinners at their homes, where they are joined by a CVOEO Community Ambassador -- a community member who speaks their language and is trained and employed by CVOEO in financial education. The host of that week's house party chooses the topic to discuss that night. Topics chosen have included banking in the U.S., building credit scores and budgeting, microbusiness development, buying a house or car, and more.

Our first financial house parties were in the Somali community. By recruiting and training a cohort of "community ambassadors" interested in serving as a financial coach and/or class facilitator, we relinquished control and empowered women to be leaders in their community. Over time, we have expanded to offer Financial House Parties for those who speak MaayMaay, Karen, Nepali, Swahili, and Arabic.

“..I learned new things and I earned money towards my savings goal for hosting at my apartment. My friends were able to start saving, too. Three parties later I am closer to buying my car and I was invited to become a community ambassador. Less than 10 years ago I was learning all of this for the first time. Now I am the one teaching other Somali women. People tell their friends, “Oh you have a money question? Ask Ashikiro.”

Our Community Ambassadors also provide interpretation for 1:1 financial coaching appointments and provide support for traditional credit and budgeting classes as well. Starting this winter, we will be developing culturally responsive classes that go into greater depth on saving, home ownership as an asset, and starting and sustaining small businesses. We look forward to the work to come in helping New Americans achieve true financial security!

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CVOEO addresses fundamental issues of economic, social, and racial justice and works with people to achieve economic independence.


 

Serving more than 10,000 households annually,
impacting the lives of over 23,000 individuals