DURHAM, N.C. (4/29/13)--Two North Carolina credit unions' efforts to assist people in poverty were featured in a recent NBC News series about poverty, with one of them also featured in a National Journal article about lifting workers into the middle class.
Latino Community CU in Durham, N.C., which was opened partly to help counter a local burglary problem, assisted Sabino Fuentes-Sanchez in overcoming his distrust of financial institutions (NBC News April 22).
Fuentes-Sanchez, who at one time had hidden $25,000 in cash in several locations throughout his home, eventually was down to $500 because his wife's cancer treatments depleted most of his savings. Before she died, she convinced him to open an account at the $115 million asset credit union, NBC News said.
Now with money in the credit union, he saves for his five children and avoids the temptation to spend all his money, said Fuentes-Sanchez.
NBC News also told the story of Kim James, who slid in and out of homelessness for several years, while battling addiction problems. She lived in a halfway house in Durham and knew that if she wanted to move into her own apartment, she would have to find a way to save money for a security deposit.
When James landed a part-time job in January, Duke University student Janet Xiao, part of a group called the Community Empowerment Fund, helped James set up an account with Self-Help CU in Durham. Within a few months, James had deposited enough money in her credit union account to pay a security deposit and the first month's rent for an apartment, NBC News said. Once James has saved enough to purchase a bed, she will move in.
Latino Community CU also was mentioned Thursday in NationalJournal.com for helping launch Paula Carde's family construction business in a suburb of Raleigh, N.C., in 2011. Carde, her father and brother--all Chilean immigrants--were turned down by three banks because the business was so new, that none of the banks were willing to loan the family enough to get the business started.
Latino Community--which serves an underserved population that most banks pass over--was the only financial institution that took a chance on the Carde family business, National Journal said.
To read the articles use the links.