Improving Financial Well-being in Central Virginia
Capital One is supporting a program that supports debt repayment in tandem with financial and professional workshops
December 12, 2023
In the Greater Fulton neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia, roughly 40% of households live below the national poverty line.
In an effort to help individuals living in Central Virginia improve their financial well-being, Capital One is supporting the Neighborhood Resource Center (NRC) — an educational and cultural center that fosters personal growth and community change in Richmond’s Greater Fulton neighborhood, as well as in Henrico County's east end.
Capital One is the founding funder of the NRC’s Barrier Removal Program, which offers debt repayment support to individuals — 99% of whom identify as Black or African American — who also participate in financial well being, workforce development and education workshops.
The NRC supports low-income individuals — people that make less than 80% of the average median income (AMI). More than 50% of program participants are extremely low-income individuals, meaning that make less than 30% of the AMI.
Through the NRC’s supportive services, individuals have increased their credit scores by an average 184 points, boosted their annual income by $8,000 and decreased debt by $10,000.
“One of the things that makes Neighborhood Resource Center unique is the way that we listen to our community,” says Breanne Armbrust, Executive Director of the NRC. “We sit down with our members one-on-one and identify the barriers they face in reaching their dreams. Through the Barrier Removal Fund, they're able to do that in a supportive environment in which they can identify goals and start to see tangible change that will impact their long-term future.”
In addition to working alongside a coach from NRC, participants in the Barrier Removal Program are given support to pay down debt via recurring grant payments for six months. Individuals report primarily using the funds to pay down debt (33%), as well as pay for utilities (23%), rent (22%) or car payments (21%).
According to the NRC, those grants have prevented seven members from eviction.
"We are proud to join forces with the NRC to promote inclusive access to financial well-being and career development resources for individuals living in Greater Fulton,” says Matt Cooper, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Head of ESG at Capital One. “By coupling individualized coaching with participation in Capital One’s Credit Counseling Programs, NRC’s members are equipped with impactful resources to improve their credit scores and financial outlook.”
How Capital One supports Financial Well-being in its communities
At Capital One, we recognize financial well-being as the condition wherein a person can fully meet financial obligations, feel secure in their financial future and make choices that allow them to enjoy life.
We seek to build the financial well-being of our communities by supporting initiatives that focus on the financial health fundamentals: budgeting, savings, credit and debt. By partnering with trusted community organizations, we strive to demystify personal finance and help people improve their relationship with money.
Capital One’s investment in the NRC comes as part of the Capital One Impact Initiative to support growth in underserved communities and advance socioeconomic mobility by closing gaps in equity and opportunity.