Raleigh nonprofit teaches financial literacy, workplace readiness amid COVID-19 pandemic

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Has the pandemic left you in financial turmoil and your nerves frayed? If so, a local nonprofit may have just the services you need.

FACTS or Financial Awareness Counseling and Teaching Services of Raleigh offers three services in one.

And, at least to the end of the year, their services are free.

The first option is counseling for any financial problems you have.

Ruby Perez of Raleigh is taking advantage of FACTS' services during the pandemic.

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"It was very disheartening when COVID hit and I was let go from my position," Perez told ABC11.

Perez, a single mother of two young boys, is one of many who were laid-off during the pandemic.

The first generation American of immigrant parents quickly used up what she had saved for a down-payment on a house. That's why she turned to Fontashia Johnson, a fellow mom at her kids' school and the founder of FACTS.

Johnson is not only helping with Perez's current money crisis but also helping her manage the future by becoming financially literate, the second piece of the FACTS approach according to Johnson who said, "Ultimately what FACTS does is empower the individual to do the work and then pass it down from generation to generation."

The third service FACTS offers is mindfulness.

"Incorporating that mindfulness piece as well, is definitely just as uniquely important because it coincides, so our financial stability and our health and wellness and being less stressed, not being depressed, decreasing our anxiety, and working on strategy to make all of that come together," Johnson said.

For Perez, stress relief is one of the most important elements of the FACTS approach.

"Just having someone to speak to about certain stressful times or even my personal life financially, is definitely a big help because a lot of us struggle with these things alone and we don't have anyone to speak out, to speak to," she said.

Thanks to grants and private donations, the services FACTS offers are free at least until the end of the year.

And while there are no qualifications to meet, Johnson is hoping to concentrate her efforts on those who can't afford paid services.

"Our purpose here is to be beneficial and empower and educate everybody who is willing," she said adding that she encourages anyone in financial straits to go to the FACTS website for help.
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