Tucoemas gets $2.5 million for their Pathways Program that helps residents with financial literacy
VISALIA –Funding for Tucoemas’ Pathway Program is making financial literacy education more accessible to Tulare County.
The Equitable Recovery Program recently awarded Tucoemas Federal Credit Union a $2.5 million dollar grant to assist residents of Tulare County. The program exists to increase equity of communities struggling as a result of the pandemic. Tucoemas uses funds to encourage financial literacy in Tulare County through their Pathways program.
In 2022, Tucoemas paid out $206,000 to their Pathways program participants. Tucoemas invested nearly $5 million into the community through local partnerships, programs and initiatives.
The grant given to Tucoemas is specifically directed towards low income communities to help those who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The CEO of Tucoemas, Brice Yocum, explained how Tucoemas plans to use the funds.
“Those funds will be really put toward helping low to moderate income families meet needs, whether that’s through small dollar loans, or secured credit cards or financial education, things like that.”Yocum said.
Tucoemas is putting most of the funds into their pathways program. The program incentivizes low income residents of Tulare County to meet with a certified financial counselor for three months with $300 they can use to apply for a secured credit card.
The program then helps them set up a budget and meet once a month while participants build their credit.
“What it does is, we actually incentivize people financially to go through about a three month program that is led by one of our certified financial counselors, and they develop goals and a budget to reduce that or to increase their savings.”Yocum said
Yocum continued to explain that not all of the grant will be allocated to the pathways program. Tucoemas will be using some of the funds for small dollar loans as well.
“We will do some small dollar loans and those typically have pretty forgiving and understanding qualifications because the point of this money is really to get into the community and so we try to look for any way we can to get people qualified.” Yocum said.
There are some documents necessary for small loans, however the only qualification for the Pathway program is participants must be a Tulare County citizen.
For more information about Tucoemas Federal Credit Union’s services and programs, visit www.tucoemas.org.