FLINT, Michigan — The CASES program (Community Approaches to Strengthening Economic Supports) is a hidden gem to many in the city of Flint. Located inside of the Michigan Works building, the program was founded by the Greater Flint Health Coalition and offers valuable information about finances, taxes, and more.
Robert Reid, the site director of CASES and Project Manager of the Greater Flint Health Coalition, collaborates with professionals from various backgrounds and hosts annual virtual workshops educating residents on financial literacy, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), offers free tax preparation through United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), and has hosted over twenty workshops thus far.
The program goes a step forward by giving extra incentives to those who choose to participate and register for the virtual workshops by offering rewards such as complimentary gift cards at a $25 value.
After attending two of the virtual workshops held during the second week of March, I left with a broader understanding of my own personal financial goals. On March 9, the first virtual workshop I attended was held in collaboration with the John L. Financial Group with keynote guest speakers, A.C. Brown and Luther Brown, from the John L. Financial Group
During the hour-long workshop, many topics ranging from tax prep to healthy financial planning to wealth building were all discussed. Another workshop was held the next day with the focus being centered around the topic of financial empowerment. During the workshop, speaker Dwayne Clemons of Total Life Prosperity gave information about budgeting, debt, money management, the importance of investing, and getting real about where you may need to improve your own financial habits.
Q&As were conducted after each workshop, encouraging residents to take advantage of the information that each key guest had to offer.
While partnering with several local organizations such as United Way of Genesee County, Greater Flint Health Coalition, Genesee Health Plan, Flint Registry, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of Minority Health, and Michigan United, CASES aims to continue to promote financial literacy to the community while also providing educational resources to families looking to cultivate a safe environment for their children. One way in which CASES achieves this is by spreading awareness through another program of theirs in which educating participants of the harmful effects of ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences
) is a strong focal point.
CASES has described their project goals as follows: “#1: to spread awareness and educate individuals of the Earned Income Tax Credit, #2: work to reduce financial stress on individuals and families alike in the Flint and Genesee County areas, and #3: aim to decrease risk factors for adverse childhood experiences.”
With this year’s tax filing deadline being April 18, CASES strongly encourages those who may need their services and assistance with tax preparation to take advantage of United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).
To learn more about the CASES program, visit: eitc4genesee.org
And to access any of the resources being offered by CASES, contact 810-232-2228, or email: [email protected].