Financial Literacy is Helping Connecticut Veterans Recover from Homelessness

Monique Mason, Assistant Branch Manager at Patriot Bank in Westport, teaches financial literacy basics at Homes with Hope’s Gillespie Center

Monique Mason, Assistant Branch Manager at Patriot Bank in Westport, teaches financial literacy basics at Homes with Hope’s Gillespie Center

According to the federal Housing and Urban Development1, Connecticut is the second state to end veteran homelessness and is close to being the first state to end chronic homelessness, making it crucial that these impacted individuals acquire financial skills to build a more secure future.

As part of that effort, Patriot Bank, N.A. is providing complimentary financial literacy and counseling to veterans and others who receive help from Homes with Hope, a Westport-based non-profit providing shelter, permanent supportive housing, food and case management.

At Patriot’s 2nd annual event at Homes with Hope, over a dozen participants learned about managing money, credit and budgeting basics and began to create a viable plan to begin securing their financial futures. Topics included how to create a budget, open a bank account, establish short- and long-term savings plans, and establish and maintain credit.

The seminar was presented by 16-year banking industry veteran Monique Mason, Assistant Branch Manager at Patriot Bank in Westport.

“There are so many individuals who fall and remain victims to the vicious cycle of homelessness in part because they were never taught basic financial literacy,” said Ms. Mason. “Too often, their situation is exacerbated by taking out cash advances or payday loans, which come with high fees and exorbitant interest rates. Patriot bankers are working with some of these veterans and others to take steps to improve their own financial situations, beginning with opening a checking account without fees and considering credit card options towards eventually establishing better credit.”

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