The Center of Financial Empowerment is hosted by City Treasurer Nichole R. Armstead who made a commitment to provide accessible financial resources to the Richmond community. Our office is working to build a reputation in Richmond as a platform and hub for personal finance resources and services in order to address economic disparity and to bridge the gap between residents and those who can provide assistance and support.
The response to our Financial Literacy Fair made it clear that one-one-one financial counseling is a service that is both needed and wanted in our community. Our office is working to host financial counselors on a regular basis in order to provide this free guidance to residents who need it most.
Financial Literacy Fair
In April of 2019 the City Treasurer's Office and Financial Empowerment Board hosted the inaugural Financial Literacy Fair where residents could attend free workshops on budgeting, saving, and banking 101. The event included onsite financial counselors, vendors, financial literacy workshops, and donations of refreshments and prizes from our event partners.
The inaugural fair had over 150 participants and was very well-received by the community with requests from our Mayor and multiple attendees to make it an annual event.
A great way to supplement one-on-one financial counseling is to attend group financial classes based on the topics most relevant to you. The following list includes a sample of free classes taught in Richmond from our partners and other organizations. The majority of selections are free and accessible via the GRTC route. Click the links to find more information and contact our office if there is a course you feel should be added!
While there are many organizations in Richmond working hard to provide resources to the community, it can be difficult for residents to easily locate what they need. Our center will help connect people with many resources such as financial assistance programs, workshops, housing services, online courses, and protection tips against financial predators. Check back to see the following list of resources grow!
For a quick guide to the resources available in the Greater Richmond area, please see this PDF from United Way. This document includes phone numbers for many types of assistance such as disability services, ex-offender reentry programs, legal services, food pantries, housing services, mental health & substance abuse services, refugee & immigration services, and transportation.
For more information dial 2-1-1 or 1-800-230-6977. If faced with an emergency, dial 911.
- United Way
- For qualifying families and individuals with income of $55,000 or less, free tax preparation services are offered through United Way's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program during the February - April season. Locations are available throughout Greater Richmond and Petersburg.
The following are selections of documents which can help highlight relevant information on personal finance management. These resources are not intended to be an all inclusive approach to financial awareness but can be a helpful launch pad for identifying where further assistance would most benefit you.
- Bank of America Better Money Habits
- This web page contains overviews of topics to help you get started on building your financial awareness and toolkit. Try taking the Life Priorities quiz to get information based on your personal financial situation. Topics include credit, debit, saving & budgeting, home ownership, auto, college, retirement, privacy & security, taxes & income, and personal banking.
- Mayor's Youth Academy
- Launched in 2010, the Mayor's Youth Academy is designed to develop Richmond's future leaders and workforce. The Mayor's Youth Academy serves Richmond youth (ages 14-19). It is the mission of the Mayor's Youth Academy to provide development opportunities to youth throughout the city of Richmond which include: job readiness training, leadership development, exposure to entrepreneurship, mentoring, and post-secondary career exploration.
- FICO Credit Galaxy Game
- This is a FICO score educational game which is a helpful and unique introduction to learning about building good credit for youth and young adults.
With a free account through Richmond Public Library you can access self-paced online financial courses. These courses come with a resume ready certificate upon completion, require no book purchases, and are accessible to anyone with a high school reading level. For additional literacy tools contact the Richmond Public Library.
There are many free and fun events throughout the city that provide budget-friendly opportunities to enjoy your time in Richmond. Explore the following links to find an event near you!
- This list by Richmond Region Tourism includes free things to do in the city whether you are a temporary visitor or a long-time resident. Explore outdoor activities, museums, art galleries, historic sites, and family friendly spots all at no cost to you.
- Many of the current events and weekend attractions listed by the newspaper are free. Scroll through the page to find a listing with free entry such as a concert, festival, or farmers market.
- This free outdoor movie series takes place throughout the summer at various public parks and includes a selection of movies and activities.
See the Calendars of City Events for other websites that may list free Richmond attractions.
The Office of Financial Empowerment is proud to introduce a new public service from the City of Richmond: Financial Navigators!
Financial Navigators provide over the phone guidance to residents to triage personal financial issues, identify immediate action steps to manage expenses and maximize income and make referrals to other services such as eviction relief, food scarcity and employment. The City of Richmond will offer these Financial Navigator services in partnership with HumanKind nonprofit agency.
The new public service is made possible in part by support from the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, a national nonprofit organization that provided grant funding along with significant technical assistance and training to city staff. The Financial Navigators initiative is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Citi Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and the Wells Fargo Foundation.
“The Financial Navigators public service brings a human element in connecting residents to resources and solutions,” said City Treasurer Nichole Armstead. “They will provide guidance to individuals facing financial challenges and other crises who may be unfamiliar with what resources and options are available.”
To have a Financial Navigator contact you,
- Visit: /www.finnav.org/rva;
- Call: (804) 646-MORE (6673)
We’re doing more to Make Options and Resources Easy!