New Economics for Women: Tax Preparation Is a Launchpad for Economic ChangeAugust 22, 2023
For New Economics for Women (NEW), helping their community isn’t just a job, it’s a personal calling. For more than 30 years, the California-based nonprofit has built economic mobility and empowered hundreds of families and women as one of a few of the organizations of its kind based in the San Fernando Valley.
Their approach is multi-faceted and geared toward addressing many different aspects of economic disparity. These include educational courses on finances, free tax filing services through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, entrepreneurship support, dedicated resource centers in communities, and housing help.
“We spark economic mobility by building spaces and joining communities together,” said Cynthia Solloa, NEW’s Assistant Program Manager for their Van Nuys Economic Mobility Center. “We take a holistic approach to meeting the needs of our families and want to create real transformation, not just transactions between us and the people we serve.”
NEW helps those it serves not just get money back through tax credits and other programs, but also learn how to improve their financial wellbeing and control their financial life. NEW believes in wrap-around services to help create financial stability, from opening bank accounts to homelessness prevention. Coaches at NEW help to support their clients with whatever they need.
As a Community Connect partner with Golden State Opportunity, this outreach has expanded with the valuable grant allowing NEW to hire more staff to serve more members of the community.
“Being a Community Connect partner has helped us to scale up our operations and meet that need,” said Luis Gomez, NEW’s Lead Financial Coach. “The additional funding and help from GSO has helped us to do more.”
One example of NEW’s impact is in how they help their clients avoid the worst case scenarios, including homelessness. As part of their homelessness prevention program and tax preparation program, one story stuck in particular.
“We had one mother come in and she was behind on rent by over $15,000,” said Solloa. “Our goal was to not just help her pay off her debt, but to help her change her mindset. She received a large tax refund and we helped her to create a plan to help get her rent paid off, including providing matching funds to help her avoid eviction. For many of our families, tax preparation is a launching point to developing a strong financial base.”
With many of NEW’s staff members living within the communities they serve, these success stories hit closer to home.
“I’m proud to be able to say that I live around here, I work around here, and I’m really proud of where I come from and the communities we serve,” Solloa said. “It feels really close to home. We are small but mighty. We hope our touch continues to reach as many families as possible.”
Learn more about NEW and the work they do at neweconomicsforwomen.org
By Jamie Servantes