Kimberley Guillemet Esq., Office of Reentry Director for the LA Mayor's Office of Economic Opportunity, speaks to attendees of the Women in Re-Entry Financial Empowerment Workshop
Nearly 60 women attended the “Women in Reentry: Financial Empowerment Workshop” held at the Vernon-Central/Los Angeles Trade-Technical College (LATTC) WorkSource Center on November 14, 2017.

The workshop was geared toward helping formerly incarcerated women establish habits that will lead to financial security, which will help lead to their successful re-entry.

“These women faced challenges that went beyond finance, so the first thing was to talk about was how to self-love, leaving behind what drains them of being self-sufficient and how to develop actions toward transforming from old habit to new habits,” said Treasure Owens, senior financial empowerment coach at the Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD), a partner of the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department. “If we want to change how people spend money, we have to understand why they spend and on what they spend.”

(left to right) Treasure Owens, CRCD Financial Coach, Kimberley Guillemet Esq., Office of Reentry Director, Mayor's Office of Economic Opportunity, and a Re-Entry Financial Empowerment Workshop participant
(left to right) Treasure Owens, CRCD Financial Coach, Kimberley Guillemet Esq., Office of Reentry Director, and a workshop participant
Many of the women faced issues with personal credit, lack of education, family issues and the stigma of reentering society after spending time in prison.

The two-and-a-half hour workshop covered financial issues such as saving money and opening bank accounts, along with developing mind maps and financial/life wheels to help create a clear financial plan that would help them increase empowerment in all areas of life.

“The goal is to create healthy financial habits,” Treasure said. “We know that if your finance is working, then our lives are a lot easier to manage as well.”

Workshop participants have the opportunity to continue receiving one-on-one coaching with Treasure the next two years or longer. Following the workshop, several women opened savings accounts with opportunities to receive matching funds for saving money.

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This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES Newsletter from the week of 11/27/2017. Read this issue and more.