Hartford Public Library receives nearly $500,000 grant to assist immigrant communities

A new grant is going to assist the Hartford Public Library teach smart financial habits to immigrant communities.
Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 9:49 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) - A push to improve financial literacy in the capital city is getting help from the federal government.

A new grant is going to assist the Hartford Public Library teach smart financial habits to immigrant communities.

This is a nearly $500,000 grant and has been in the works for more than two years.

It is going to help immigrant and refugee populations get access to banking services and financial resources.

“There are a lot of complex needs that people come to us with,” said Bridget Quinn, President of Hartford Public Library.

Soon, the Hartford Public Library will be able to address more of those needs.

That includes expanding banking access for immigrants in the community.

“About a quarter of Americans are unbanked, and you can imagine that that percentage is much larger in a community where there is a concentration of poverty and a community where there is a disproportionately large immigrant community,” said Mayor Luke Bronin.

In addition to teaching smart financial habits, the program will connect individuals with trusted experts in the banking field, and assist them in navigating financial service tools.

The program received a roughly $488,000 federal grant.

“This kind of program is not only innovative and important. It’s also very hands on and practical,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Participants sign an agreement to deposit $50 a month into a savings account with Liberty Bank.

When the participant saves $250, the money gets transferred to an individual account in their name and they will receive an additional $250.

“This match savings program I just believe to the immigrant population will be very catalytic to help them to build some level of financial stability so that in the future they can really not necessarily have to go into those high cost, predatory experiences that are so common,” said, Glenn Davis, Liberty Bank.

Organizers say it is a model program that will help make the economy stronger.

“We are excited to be part of this project and with the help of the team, we look forward to seeing these participants achieve their slice of the American dream,” said Tori Hamilton, Connecticut Association for Human Services.

Participants will meet over the course of five months for financial education and networking opportunities.

The program is expected to launch in the spring.