D.C.

Family Matters of Greater Washington helps clients out of financial hardships

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Felishia Jackson proudly waved her new car keys, starting up the next chapter in her life, after months of challenges.

After losing her job and car, she fell into debt. But she says Family Matters of Greater Washington steered her in the right direction.

“They actually sit with you and go through a budget, and they make sure that your income fits the budget with the car, where you'd be able to afford a car, afford the repairs, afford insurance and have extra money left over,” says Jackson.

The non-profit organization and the Ways to Work program offer a unique opportunity to help low to moderate-income families get on track financially while providing loans to purchase a new ride.

“You can be a single parent, married person your income has to be approximately 40 percent of the media income in the area, you will be required to have 6-months on the job,” says Tonya Jackson Smallwood, CEO Family Matters of Greater Washington.

In the course of a year, 50 families have received auto loans, including Dana Wright.

“$221! I feel so good about that,” Wright says. That's her amount now for car payments - half of what she used to pay for public transportation.

According to a recent study by the Brookings Institution, only one-quarter of the Metropolitan area low wage and moderate wage jobs are accessible within a 90-minute one way commute by public transportation.

But with financial education, and credit repair guidance under the program, everyday tasks now seem within reach.

“We're going grocery shopping, and I have a doctor’s appointments,” Jackson says.

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