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City of Richmond launches Financial Navigators program to coach residents through financial challenges

Richmond, VA — The City of Richmond Office of Financial Empowerment, led by City Treasurer Nichole R. Armstead, has launched Richmond’s Financial Navigators program to help residents navigate personal financial challenges, especially those related to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financial Navigators provide over the phone guidance to residents to triage personal financial issues, identify immediate action steps to manage expenses and maximize income and make referrals to other services such as eviction relief, food scarcity and employment. The City of Richmond will offer these Financial Navigator services in partnership with HumanKind nonprofit agency.

The official kickoff will be held outdoors on Wednesday, Jan. 6, at 1:30 p.m. at the Financial Navigator’s site 908 N. Thompson Street. The launch is made possible in part by support from the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, a national nonprofit organization that provided grant funding along with significant technical assistance and training to city staff. The Financial Navigators initiative is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Citi Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and the Wells Fargo Foundation.

“The Financial Navigators public service brings a human element in connecting residents to resources and solutions,” said City Treasurer Nichole Armstead. “They will provide guidance to individuals facing financial challenges and other crises who may be unfamiliar with what resources and options are available.”

“This program helps remove the barriers to economic stability and generational wealth building that hold Richmonders back from fulfilling their true potential,” said Mayor Stoney. “The Office of Financial Empowerment is putting the right tools in the hands of residents, providing the support and education they need to thrive.”

“HumanKind is pleased to partner with the City of Richmond Treasurer’s Office to support families needing access to financial resources.  Thanks to this collaboration, we are able to provide individuals and working families guidance and direction regarding area providers and services at no cost,” said Bob Dendy, President and CEO of HumanKind.

Richmond residents interested in being connected to a Financial Navigator can visit this online registration portal www.finnanv.org/rva or call the City Treasurer’s Office of Financial Empowerment at 804-646-MORE (6673). Organizations that provide client services can also refer clients directly to a financial navigator.

Quotes from Partners:

“Financial distress is a primary part of the COVID-19 crisis, and we’re pleased City Treasurer Nichole R. Armstead and her team are making this a priority for Richmond residents,” said Jonathan Mintz, President and CEO of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “The Financial Navigators program will help Richmond residents assess and prioritize their financial concerns and get connected with the right resources.”

“Communities across the country continue to face significant economic challenges as a result of COVID-19,” said Brandee McHale, Head of Citi Community Investing and Development and President of the Citi Foundation. “To provide residents in the City of Richmond with the vital financial tools and support necessary to navigate the financial impacts of the pandemic, the Citi Foundation is proud to partner once again with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund to launch the Financial Navigators program.”

“The pandemic has clearly heightened awareness around the financial hardships that so many people were already facing here in Richmond and deep disparities that exist in society,” said Darlene Goins, head of financial health philanthropy with the Wells Fargo Foundation.  “We applaud the CFE Fund for bringing together the City of Richmond, philanthropists, and financial services and other industries to reimagine solutions that can help improve financial stability and resiliency for individuals and families, particularly during this economic crisis.”

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