Volunteering to Make a Difference

Meet Scott — a volunteer making a direct impact on the lives of our residents!

A long-time volunteer at Mercy Housing, Scott received his GED and graduated from a culinary program at Red Rocks Community College. For the past 19 years, he has worked in the financial services field.

Close to five years ago, Scott began volunteering at Decatur Place Apartments, a large family community in Denver. The majority of residents that come to Decatur Place do not have high school diplomas, and many are unemployed, or employed in unstable, minimum-wage positions.

We sat down with Scott to chat with him about his experience as a volunteer, and how he would like to impact the lives of Mercy Housing residents.

How did you first get connected to Mercy Housing and Decatur Place?

Brianna, the case manager at Decatur Place, submitted a request to Teach for America, looking for someone to teach a financial literacy course. We were able to connect through my employer. Brianna and I quickly developed a rapport, which helped us collaboratively create the program that we’ve used for the last four-plus years.

What kind of support do you offer the residents at Decatur?

When Brianna and I first started talking, we knew there were many factors that create any financial situation, so we decided to back it all down to the very beginning — creating a good financial foundation first and then building from there. After the first few classes, we realized we needed to offer not only more classes, but a more personalized experience for some of the individuals as well.

Why do you choose to do this? 

Growing up, I never had a course or anyone, outside of family, help me understand the value of credit and money.  It was only after going to the “school of hard knocks” and completely destroying my credit – before I even knew what it was – I made it my mission to give back some of what I’ve learned, not only in my own life but also in my career as a manager in financial services for the last 19 years.

What kind of impact do you hope it has on the people you work with?

      1. Take something that people tend to shy away from and bring it to the forefront, not just for the adults, but for the entire family, including kids!
      2. Implement just one of the hints/tips/tricks we’ve provided that will help them continue to build a foundation for financial success in the future.
      3. Build a sustainable and repeatable process not just for budgeting and credit, but also so they can build a plan to do more.
      4. Set and achieve the goals they set for themselves.
      5. Take part in an individual session if a group setting isn’t comfortable.

On behalf of Mercy Housing, and especially the residents at Decatur Place, thank you, Scott! We appreciate you!

 

Do you want to make an impact? We are always in need of volunteers of all ages and skills! If you are interested in volunteering, please email us at volunteer @mercyhousing.org

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