Virginia Cooperative Extension, in cooperation with the Warren County Department of Social Services, is offering a free workshop on dealing with a lack of money to help residents of the North Shenandoah Valley who may be struggling financially.
The program will highlight “information on relief options, spending plans, community resources, prioritization, contacts with creditors, and protection against scams and subprime loans,” a recent press release explains. .
“The workshop will show participants how to develop their own plan to cope with or help a loved one recover from a financial crisis.”
Launched in May 2020 to help area residents struggling with budgeting, paying bills or finding money to save, the program was previously only virtual, said Karen Poff, senior officer of popularization for family and consumer sciences.
“The virtual ones went well,” she said, but “we can do a lot more.”
The workshop will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on March 22 at the Warren County Health and Human Services Building, 465 West 15th St., Suite 100, Front Royal.
Accommodations are available for anyone with a disability who wishes to participate in assistive devices, services or other accommodations if requested at least five business days prior to the event.
“I actually created it as a result of the pandemic,” Poff said. “The focus at the time was that everyone was in a money crisis and then how can people deal with financial difficulties, what options do they have?”
The program is for people who need a plan to get through the next few weeks versus a plan for a year, she said.
“What are you going to do in a month or two to try to make things work?” she says.
“This Money Crunch program is all about the crisis of not having the money to make ends meet,” Poff said.
But others are also welcome.
“It’s good for people who aren’t fighting themselves but also want to help someone else,” Poff said.
The extension office also offers a financial series, Managing Your Money, for people who are a bit more financially stable and want help achieving longer-term goals for their money.
Excited to be offering in-person workshops again, Poff said they can allow for more engagement than the virtual setting.
“I think people received it very well,” she said.
Subsequently, many participants took steps to improve their finances.
Results from the virtual programs showed that 81% of respondents planned to take three or more actions from the program, Poff said.
“From May to December, out of 39 webinar sessions that were offered, 21 sessions took place, reaching a total of 70 participants,” she wrote in an impact statement for her annual report in 2020. “ Of these, 26 have completed the end-of-term assessment.”
In a three-month review, 83% had taken action at follow-up, Poff said.
“All had planned to take at least one recommended action during the program,” she said.
Contact Karen Poff at [email protected] or 540-635-4549 if you have any questions or would like to receive the flyer by mail or email.