LAWRENCE — Perhaps a family has fallen on hard times and needs advice on how to budget limited funds, or an individual wants to know how to go about repairing a damaged credit report to improve his or her financial footing.
If that’s the case, the Lawrence Financial Stability Center at 50 Island St., which had its official opening yesterday, is a service available to those residents of the Greater Lawrence area.
“Lawrence is one of the poorest cities in the commonwealth and we have many families struggling with credit, savings, managing their finances and accessing jobs,” Juan Bonilla, Director of Asset Building and Home Ownership at Lawrence CommunityWorks, said following yesterday’s grand opening.
The opening was attended by State Treasurer Steve Grossman and community development leaders and representatives of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.
United Way has committed $600,000 to CommunityWorks over the next three years to run the center. Officials anticipate the center in its first year will bring assistance to more than 500 people.
Similar centers funded by the United Way are in operation in Lynn, Chelsea and Boston.
“Financial education leads to financial stability, and this new center will provide the residents of Greater Lawrence with the resources they need to improve their lives and economic future,” Grossman said.
In the fall of 2010, United Way approached CommunityWorks to collaborate in creating a one-stop facility offering the financial education support services. CommunityWorks has been in existence for a decade and has built a network of 5,000 members around the city.
“We know that many individuals and families are still struggling to save and manage what limited financial resources they have. These centers are working to provide the coaching and financial education needed to help people overcome their specific financial challenges for long term success,” said Michael K. Durkin, President of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.