KANSAS CITY, Mo., Oct. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Past studies by FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households indicate Kansas City has consistently ranked among the highest, 12%, when it comes to the number of unbanked households. This compares with St. Louis at 4%, and a national average of 7.7%. Further analysis showed an astonishing 45% of Kansas City's African American population as unbanked, compared to St. Louis with only 13%. However, the most recent study, released today, indicates that local efforts to reduce these numbers are making a huge impact.
A partnership between Kansas City based nonprofit, CHES, Inc. (http://www.chesinc.org), and two local initiatives, AEI (Alliance for Economic Inclusion) and MSKC (www.moneysmartkc.org) has made great strides in reducing reliance by low and moderate income households on costly alternative financial services. Efforts to bank the unbanked include free classes, workshops, educational resources and outreach efforts by CHES, Inc. and partner initiatives.
"The use of alternative banking services places an undue financial burden on those least able to afford it, said Ron Farmer, Co-Founder of CHES, Inc. "Strategic partnerships allow us to address the issue of an unbanked population from multiple angles. Collectively, we're able to provide education and outreach to those most impacted, and to provide services geographically to areas of greatest need. This is something one organization couldn't do alone, however, by combining our efforts with AEI and MSKC, we're able to reach tens of thousands of households instead of hundreds. We're also changing a once cumbersome process by utilizing smart technology. We can now reach households without internet access via their smartphones and make a full scope of services available at their fingertips. It's something we hope to replicate on a national scale."
Indeed, efforts to reduce the unbanked population appear to be working. While the FDIC study released today indicates the national average of the unbanked population has shrunk from 7.7% to 7%, Kansas City, where CHES, Inc.'s efforts began, has seen the percentage has drop dramatically from 12% to only 5%. Hopefully, their efforts will have an even larger impact nationally as they expand outreach.
ABOUT CHES, INC.
Founded in 2010, CHES, Inc. (Credit & Homeownership Empowerment Services, Inc.) is a Kansas City based, HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) approved nonprofit organization, providing innovative financial, credit and housing education, counseling and coaching services designed to empower primarily low and moderate income individuals with the ability to improve one's financial quality of life. Services are available nationally. For more about CHES, Inc., visit www.chesinc.org.
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SOURCE CHES, Inc.