"Have you ever had a credit card?"
A little while ago I had a chance to talk to folks from NEDAP about what kind of trainings and service referrals we could offer our clients. They suggested I begin by asking one or two simple questions during our intake process about our clients' histories and experiences using credit and financial products. Read More...
Nedap (Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project) is a great resource and advocacy organization that works to enhance financial justice in low-income communities and communities of color. They partner extensively with neighborhood associations and groups to provide in-depth training on financial literacy and develop coalitions to advocate against predatory financial practices. Check out their website for more information about the reports and trainings they have available as well as links to other New York and national organizations.
Don't miss this article from the New York Times a few weeks ago: Cash to Get By Is Still Pawnshop’s Stock in Trade. It's a long and mostly sympathetic profile of pawnshops as a neighborhood financial institution. This map (click here to enlarge) from the article shows that the largest concentration of pawnshops in New York City are in the South Bronx and Upper Manhattan. Notice the large clump around the Fordham Road area in the Bronx - the busiest retail commercial hub in the Borough.