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The City of Jackson announces the completion of its CityStart Financial Empowerment Blueprint

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - Today, the City of Jackson announced the completion of their CityStart Financial Empowerment Blueprint.

This detailed plan lays out the foundation for how the city plans to support and encourage financial empowerment among its residents.

The blueprint is the result of a six-month planning process with the goal of launching a financial empowerment center to provide free, one-on-one professional financial counseling.

This essential government service will promote financial literacy from childhood to retirement, improving banking access, and address predatory lending services.

The chairman of the City of Jackson's Anti-Poverty Task Force is excited about the opportunity to bring real solutions to the community.

“One and every other person you meet, so 48 percent of residents in Jackson are struggling. They are either Alice population, which means that they are working poor, or they are people working every single day but are usually just a spare tire away from trouble or they are actually living in federally defined poverty. So, when we recognized those challenges, you know we also have to recognize that we have to do something about that,” said Matthew Marshall, the Chair of the Anti-Poverty Task Force.

The CityStart Financial Empowerment Blueprint is being supported by the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, which supports municipal efforts to improve the financial stability of households by leveraging opportunities unique to local government.

City officials are happy that the city of Jackson was chosen for the grant program.

“We are probably one of the smaller cities that the cities for financial empowerment worked with and so I think we provide a unique opportunity for them to examine what does it like to provide financial empowerment in an urban setting as well as a rural one because we know that Jackson is the hub for west Tennessee so we are not just considering serving those immediately within our city limits, but anybody who has a need who could benefit for this program, whether you live in the county or surrounding counties. Really addressing urban and rural poverty because we think both are important to address,” said Lauren Kirk, the Director of Performance Management at the City of Jackson.

City officials say they are in the process of picking their local non-profit provider for the free financial services.

The city plans to start offering those free financial services in January.

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