Research shows that for families to escape poverty and sustain financial security, an increase in income must be accompanied by an increase in economic resources that produce long-term value. A savings account, a home, or a college education can create an important buffer against unexpected occurrences that can devastate a low-income family, like medical emergencies or sudden job loss. Financially empowered families are also more economically mobile. It’s more likely for children from these families to complete college and engage successfully in the labor market.
Across our financial empowerment programming, YPI works to educate people about the importance of building assets. We also provide access to tools and resources that support a family’s ability to increase their earnings and savings. Through programs like these, Los Angeles is on the cutting edge of building financial capability in communities that need it most.
Over the past two years, YPI has opened 649 matched savings accounts, helped individuals save over $141,000, and provided over 4,300 hours of financial education to more than 1,800 individuals. As well, our most recent VITA program achieved the highest success to date. In tax year 2015, YPI prepared 487 returns and helped secure $16,140 in Child Tax Credits and $215,208 in Earned Income Tax Credits, among others. From tax year 2014 to 2015 YPI experienced a 67% increase in the number of returns prepared for VITA clients.