Center of Latinos Integrated Economic Development of Salem : home ownership, small business development, and higher education

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Southern New Hampshire University
SHCDC established and developed a program named Center of Latinos Integrated Economic Development of Salem (CLIEDS) that offered professional financial literacy workshops with the end of creating Individual Development Accounts (IDA) for 10 local Latino residents of the Point Neighborhood of Salem, Massachusetts (US) whereby participants attempted to save an amount each month towards the goal of either purchasing a new home, starting and developing a micro business, or obtaining a higher education. Working under the main guidance and support of Salem Harbor Community Development Corporation (main host) and under the auspices of Eastern Bank (partner), Salem State College (partner), Beverly Cooperative Bank (partner), and the City of Salem (partner), moneys were raised through foundations, corporations, local banks, individual contributors, private/public agencies, and governmental funds (CDBG) as available to match IDA participants savings on a 3:1 ratio (up to $ 100.00 per participant per month over 24 months). Salem State College (partner) is one of the few 4-year higher education institutions in the North Shore region. Salem State College strives to focus on minority, low-income and disadvantaged students as part of its recruitment process with the purpose of offering them a fair opportunity to have access to higher education. With the support of Nancy Harrington, President of SSC, and Shawn Newton, Coordinator of Minority Affairs, SHCDC served as the point of contact between these participants that would decide to obtain a higher education and SSC. In addition, North Shore Community College might also be available for these participants. Beverly Cooperative Bank (partner) (Bill Howard) held the Individual Development Accounts and received these participants interested in buying a home and work with them through their housing program to pre-qualify them for affordable mortgages. These participants would then receive home ownership training through the City of Salem (partner) (Jane A. Guy) with their first-time buyers program. Also, these participants interested in developing a micro business met with our local Salem Harbor CDC (partner) (Debora Askanese) to explore the available and affordable (viable!) options of business development and planning. Last but not least, Eastern Bank (Ed Alcantara) offered the professional financial literacy workshops to our participants. Our proposed project – Center of Latinos Integrated Economic Development of Salem (CLIEDS) – is currently serving as the point of contact between our targeted low-income Latino population and the aforementioned various organizations/affiliates with the purpose of promoting the economic development of our participants through asset-building and wealth accumulation mechanisms. SHCDC evaluated the success of this program by following up and determining (1) how many of the initial 10 participants completed the savings program (measured as saving the target amount of money); (2) participation and delivery of at least 10 training modules in financial literacy, higher education, home ownership, and/or business development; and (3) how many of these participants successfully went into a higher education institution (SSC), buying a home or starting a micro business in the City of Salem. (Author abstract)