Children come to The Village experiencing a range of emotional or behavioral challenges. The reasons vary, but the stability of the family is often a contributing factor. When parents are struggling with paying the rent, putting food on the table, and often facing crises related to medical, transportation and family issues, it causes ongoing tension and stress that affects a child’s healthy growth and development.
At The Village, we know from experience that considering and supporting the whole child – and the whole family – leads to much greater success.
We can’t ameliorate all of the issues facing families. We don’t create jobs or provide housing for struggling families. But we can, and do, help them achieve financial stability in other ways.
Through VITA, individuals and families earning up to $54,000 per year receive help with preparing and filing their taxes – at no cost. Last year, over 11,000 taxpayers in central and northeastern CT received $28.4 million in federal refunds and credits. That’s an average of $2,500 per family.
In addition to saving money on tax preparation service, families who use VITA are more likely to receive credits they may not have known about – like the Earned Income Tax Credit. The IRS estimates that 20 percent of eligible taxpayers do not claim the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, which can be worth over $6,000 for each filer.
And, through VITA, we can help individuals and families avoid refund anticipation loans that predatory tax preparers encourage.
VITA helps build financial security for families by putting hard-earned money back into their pockets. Families have used refunds to pay bills and household expenses, for much needed repairs or to pay down debt. For some, this once-a-year influx of money offers a rare opportunity to set aside savings for emergencies and unanticipated expenses.
In addition, through our Family Financial Stability Initiative, we build families’ skills in budgeting and saving. Through one-on-one coaching and financial education classes, participants learn how to create a budget, understand and improve credit scores, reduce debt, define their financial goals, and develop a plan to reach their goals.
Building a family’s resilience to overcome challenges that life throws at them – that’s where The Village can help.