How volunteers are helping New Yorkers manage their debt

A volunteer helps a client at an FCC center.

A volunteer helps a client at an FCC center.

By Sabina Mollot

In 2007, when low-income New Yorkers began turning to sub-prime lenders and check-cashing services as well as other high-risk practices due to a lack of traditional available bank services, a local nonprofit organization responded by launching a program aimed at getting those people out of the financial holes they inevitably ended up in.

The program, called Financial Coaching Corps (FCC), was launched by Community Service Society of New York, an organization that’s headquartered at 105 East 22nd Street near Park Avenue South. Community Service Society (CSS), for its endeavors aimed at fighting poverty, uses a team of volunteers who are 55 years old or older.

Its volunteer recruitment program is called RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) and those volunteers, following a rigorous training program, become financial coaches who then offer free assistance to clients who have credit or debt issues.

Reyes Irizarry, project director of Financial Coaching Corps of Community Service Society of New York, recently spoke with Town & Village about the program and how it helps New Yorkers in financial crisis situations.

Continue reading