Stroudsburg, PA -November 12, 2018 – Pocono Alliance, a non-profit located in Stroudsburg, and ESSA Bank & Trust are working together to help low income individuals and families improve their financial futures. Pocono Alliance operates the Bridges Out of Poverty Program which addresses the issue of poverty by engaging the community and empowering the motivated. One portion of this program is Getting Ahead. During the Getting Ahead program, participants receive educational tools to identify financial and social resources to strengthen their individual productivity and contributions to the community.
Pocono Alliance and ESSA have established a Matched Savings Account Program in order to help individuals, who have completed the Getting Ahead program, pursue their dreams of becoming homeowners, small business owners, or post-secondary education. The program will provide incentive savings matches to participants, financial literacy classes, peer and staff support, and individual counseling in order to make asset ownership obtainable. During the Matched Savings Account Program, participants will acquire financial skills and knowledge in order to make informed financial decisions. They will also learn how to set realistic short and long-term personal, financial, and asset goals.
“We’re thankful to ESSA for providing this program to help our participants increase their financial knowledge and assets. We strongly believe that when people have a stake in our community, it’s good for everyone.” said Bridges Out of Poverty Director Sarah Jacobi.
ESSA Bank & Trust is providing the matching money up to $15,000 over 3 years and will make a dollar-for-dollar match up to $1,500 per participant. The ESSA staff is also providing free financial literacy training for qualified participants.
“We know that asset ownership is a critical step towards stabilizing a family and we’re happy to provide this opportunity for these individuals who are trying to change their financial picture” said Gary Olson, President & CEO of ESSA Bank & Trust.
Pocono Alliance is a community-focused organization that advocates for positive and collective change and empowers people to improve their lives. Pocono Alliance programs focus on self-sufficiency, healthy living and child & family development. For more information, visit Pocono Alliance’s website at www.poconoalliance.org or on Facebook under Pocono Alliance.