Poverello House teams up with Bank of America for financial literacy workshops

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Men going through the substance abuse rehabilitation program at the Poverello House are not just learning how to adapt to a sober lifestyle, but clients are now being taught better money habits and how to plan for their future.

The Fresno shelter says being financially healthy contributes to clients becoming successful members of society.

The Poverello House has teamed up with Bank of America to assist clients going through the program.

"The material is really just to help them improve their financial well-being, be it the basics of banking like what is a checking account, what is a saving account, what are those line items I'm paying outside my paycheck all the way to how to save for a car, a house and retirement," said Bank of America Fresno-Visalia Market Executive Marisa Moore.

Bank of America officials offer financial literacy workshops for about 30 men at the shelter as they walk them through the process of developing a budget and the 101 of finances.

"We have people that leave our transitional living facility with upwards of ten, fifteen sometimes $20,000, so knowing what to do with that money is very important," said Poverello House Job Developer Gavin Larson.

Clients say understanding money and learning how to be financially successful is integral to their recovery.

"Obviously, moving forward, we're going to look to rent an apartment, buy a car, buy a home and without a decent credit score nowadays, you can't do that. This class is slowly helping us get our credit back to where it was or to build new credit so we can afford those things and afford an actual living," said ex-client Rafael Vasquez.

Current client Brett Lucky admits the nature of his addiction was triggered by him being irresponsible with money, but the lessons he's learned from the program have helped him become a healthier person both spiritually and financially

"If I know that I can afford to feed myself and pay my bills, then a lot of stress is going to be lifted off my shoulders. And if I know how to be responsible about that and take care of those things, then it really puts me in a better position to succeed," Lucky said.

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