​Volunteers of America of Indiana Awarded $46,500 Grant to Provide Financial Literacy Classes

Indianapolis, IN (November 28, 2016) – On November 16 Volunteers of America of Indiana (VOAIN) received $46,500 from The Glick Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation. The awarded money will be used to provide financial literacy classes for formerly incarcerated men and women. The final goal of this program is to ground participants and help them become financially stable so they do not make rash decisions that could lead to prison again.

Content of the classes will include financial basics, checking and savings accounts, spending and saving habits, setting goals, identity theft, creating a budget, and using credit. Clients will be provided with a free checking and savings account from Old National Bank along with cash incentives so they can learn skills hands-on and be encouraged to stay in classes. Classes will also be run by a volunteer from Old National Bank.

A study in 2013 from the University of Illinois surveyed prisoners in the Midwest and found that inmates sought out financial programming. It stated, "Tasks like managing a checking account, maintaining a balanced budget, building savings are all relatively new skills for a population that has likely had financial stress since childhood. Offering comprehensive financial literacy skills can provide a new way of life for recently released individuals and help reduce recidivism."

Prospective participants can be referred from reentry programs including but not limited to VOAIN's work-release facilities and programs, the Marion County Reentry Court, and Duvall Residential Center. Classes for clients will start in February 2017 and will end in December 2017.