Tool matches Dallas families with benefits

Citi and Metropolitan Dallas YWCA create Self-Sufficiency Calculator to improve financial security for local families

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YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas (YW), working in partnership with Citi, has announced the creation of the YW Self-Sufficiency Calculator.

This innovative new tool matches hard-working Dallas families with appropriate benefits that can help to bridge any gaps in their finances as they work their way toward financial independence.

The YW Self-Sufficiency Calculator is part of YW Financial Empowerment, a proven asset- building initiative that gives people the skills they need to make the right financial choices.

In parts of Dallas where working-poor Dallas families struggle to make ends meet and live just one setback away from homelessness, hunger or medical crisis, the YW Self-Sufficiency Calculator can play an important role.

Dallas mothers meet with YW Coaches to discuss their family's monthly income and expenses, which are then entered into the web-based YW Self-Sufficiency Calculator. Clients are then able to view which of nine different benefits and three tax credits their family might be eligible to receive.

Additionally, the YW Self-Sufficiency Calculator shows clients exactly how their monthly income is being spent, allowing the creation of more realistic budgets.

During the YW Self-Sufficiency Screening process, YW Coaches help clients set life goals and recommend Financial Education workshops and, if needed, other community resources provided by YW partners such as food banks or job advancement training.

YW is sharing this licensed tool with other non-profit providers in the community to ensure that more Dallas families can be served.

"Connecting people with the benefits they're entitled to is key to helping them achieve financial inclusion," said Debbie Taylor, Southwest Regional Director for Citi Community Development. "The Self-Sufficiency Calculator is a powerful result of our longstanding partnership with the YW to expand economic empowerment in Dallas."

YW and Citi's partnership began in 2004 with a shared goal of providing basic financial literacy to low-income women. YW Financial Empowerment has since evolved into a broad asset-building initiative that includes matched-savings accounts, case management and a wide variety of financial educational offerings.