3371 Chattanooga Valley Road Flintstone GA 30725 706.820.2833

3371 Chattanooga Valley Road Flintstone GA 30725 706.820.2833

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

One City

Please go to chattarati.com to read Dr. Brian Fikkert's Editorial, Form One City Out of Two, on poverty in our community.

Dr. Fikkert will also be speaking at the CCDA Regional conference in Chattanooga this May 20-21. For more information on this event, go to CCDA.org.

Friday, April 8, 2011

In the News

Check out the article in Chattanooga's new online new source, Nooga.com.

Church-based project seeks to alleviate poverty
By Mary Barnett
Published Thursday, March 17, 2011 12:47 pm EST ( Updated 1 week ago )

The Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College will soon launch Asset-Driven Development of Chattanooga (ADDC), a pilot project developed to train and support church-based individual development accounts (IDA's) in the greater Chattanooga area.

IDA's are matched saving accounts for the working poor, similar to an employer-matched 401K account. Asset-driven development means the people who sign up for an IDA will be saving for a specific need or asset, such as a home, car, or home-based business equipment.

"Some people who are in poverty could get out of poverty with the right help. But they don't know that they can," Jerilyn Sanders, director of the program, said. "They don't know that they might be able to create their own wealth, and incrementally things could at least get better. If I am a person who is going to a title pawn when I have an emergency, will I ever consider investments or savings?"
Heather Harris, right, a volunteer with the ADDC, helps director Jerilyn Sanders, left, plan out their new offices at the St. Andrews Center.

This summer the ADDC program, one of the first launched by the Chalmers Center in the U.S., will train church leaders interested in a longer lasting impact to start an IDA program in their congregation or community.

Participants in the training program will be tasked to do extensive homework within their congregations to find their target audience, set the budget, determine the match rate, and adapt the program to the needs of people in their organization.

Heather Prettyman, with Hope for Northwest Georgia, is looking forward to the group training approach and learning with others. She will be part of the first 5 groups already enrolled in this summer's pilot program.

"It is going to be a big deal to partner with someone and help them look to the future beyond next week or next month. We will learn how to help them budget and manage their own money as they save," said Prettyman. "This program will allow us to do a match savings programs - so people who couldn't buy a car, or a house, or go for higher education, will now have that possibility by working with a church. I think people have been looking for this kind of answer for awhile."

The Chalmers Center, whose work has been primarily focused overseas in developing nations, is piloting the program in Chattanooga to learn from the model over the next three years before they introduce it to other communities around the United States.

"Ultimately, we'd like to see communities around the country working together to address poverty in this way," Sanders said.