Thursday, November 26, 2015

Bloomberg gives Philly $3M for debt ed

Clarifi will add "Financial Empowerment Centers"

Bloomberg gives Philly $3M for debt ed


Bloomberg Philanthropies, a charity funded by New York Mayor and billionaire financial data mogul Michael Bloomberg, and Living Cities' Cities for Financial Empowement Fund, funded by a coalition of charities, said today they will give $3.3 million to Philadelphia, over the next three years, to staff and equip "Financial Empowerment Centers" at the Municipal Services Building, El Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Peoples' Emergency Center, the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, Community College of Philadelphia, and Community Legal Services at Broad and Erie.

Counselors will be hired and managed by Clarifi, a nonprofit credit and housing counseling agency that negotiates slower payments at lower rates for people who fall behind on their bank loans.

Clarifi boss Patricia Hasson said in a statement that her group is "excited" to win the funding and open the centers, which Bloomberg credits with "helping more than 19,000 New Yorkers reduce their debt by more than $9 million" since Bloomberg-backed centers first opened there in 2008. The centers won't just target people with problem loans, but also people "entering the financial system" who are trying to establish credit and save money, for example, Hasson told me.

The funders also gave grants to Denver, Nashville, San Antonio, and Lansing, Mich. 

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PhillyDeals posts interviews, drafts and updates that Joseph N. DiStefano writes alongside his Sunday and Monday columns and ongoing articles about Philadelphia-area business.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn. He taught writing and research at St. Joe’s. He has written for the Inquirer since 1989, except when he left a few times to work at Bloomberg and elsewhere. He wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six kids with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at, 215.854.5194, @PhillyJoeD. Read his blog posts at and his Inquirer columns at Bloomberg posts his items at NH BLG_PHILLYDEAL.

Reach Joseph at or 215 854 5194.

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