CA and NABVETS join forces to train advocates for homeless vets

Over 300 advocates for homeless veterans, representing 49 states and Alaska, attended the National Coalition for the Homeless Veterans Conference in Virginia. Over half left the conference MoneyWi$er.

When Consumer Action (CA) and the National Association of Black Veterans (NABVETS) joined forces early this year, the goal was to reach out to black and minority veterans, as well as veterans with limited means, in an effort to help them better understand how to manage their finances. 

The Coalition for Homeless Veterans Conference, held in Virginia, May 20-22, 2009, brought together Joe Wynn, Legislative Advocate for NABVETS, and Linda Williams, Community Outreach Manager for CA, in order to begin taking proactive steps towards that goal.  The conference provided an opportunity for Wynn and Williams to reach out to and train “vet advocates” using curriculum from Consumer Action’s renowned MoneyWi$e Financial Educational Program, which is the first program of its kind to combine free, multilingual financial education materials, curricula, and teaching aids with regional meetings and roundtables to train community-based organization staff. MoneyWi$e was developed as a partnership between CA and Capital One Financial Services.

Starting with basic banking, Williams introduced all twelve MoneyWi$e modules to participants, telling them about the goals and topics covered by each module.  She outlined for participants what their clients will learn. She described the activities in each module and showed how each activity can be used to reinforce the information contained in the modules. 

Williams told participants that unlike other financial programs, MoneyWi$e is very flexible, allowing trainers to tailor the curriculum to any audience. By using condensed versions of modules such as banking, credit, rebuilding credit, savings and ID theft, Williams demonstrated how to use MoneyWi$e effectively and target it towards specific training sessions. Participants lingered long after the training was over to rave about the training and to ask what they could do to get a MoneyWi$e training program in their states and communities.

As the word spread about the workshops, hundreds of conference attendees flocked to the MoneyWi$e table to get materials, ask questions about future MoneyWi$e regional meetings, and to pick up order forms for additional materials.  Over 150 MoneyWi$e order forms were distributed at the conference. Organizers of the conference told Wynn and Williams about the positive responses received as the result of the workshops and invited them to return to the 2010 conference.


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