Stephanie Desrochers, Community Work Incentive Coordinator, said “We don’t really talk about our finances. We’re not taught about it in school and as a county, less than 50% of us have more than a months worth of savings.”
For people with disabilities, that number is even higher. In Maine alone, 60% of people on disability live in poverty.
Many people think there is nothing they can do, but the Greater Bangor Disability Asset Network proves that is not the case.
“But in reality, a lot of programs have been designed to help people on benefits develop assets because you need more than just money, you need assets to get out of poverty,” Desrochers said.
It’s part of the Asset Network’s “Financial Fitness” plan. People in the Bangor area gathered at Eastern Maine Community College for the event. People in attendance learned most of the small steps to acquire more money are easy.
Auta Maine, Disability Employment Initiative Leader, explained, “Just learning how to open a checking account or savings account, and learning how to save.”
For people with disability, that knowledge, is power.
“I think an event like this gives us the power and ability to change things,” said Avery Olmstead, a person with disabilities activist.
But in these economic times, everyone wants to see their wallet bulk up.
“I would say there’s not anyone in this area that can’t benefit from the message being taught today,” said Main.