Detroit Financial Empowerment Center offers free, one-on-one financial help

There's a new resource to help Detroiters manage their money, and achieve financial freedom, offering residents one-on-one time with experts, free of charge.

"We see people who are struggling with their taxes and now we can say, 'How about one-on-one counseling?'" said Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree.

Sabree doesn't want your house. In fact, he's trying to keep Detroiters in their homes and out of foreclosure, on budget and building wealth, with the help of new financial empowerment centers in the city.

"Once we assist clients with getting out of crisis, we help them to see there's a brighter future," said Latoria Glenn-Carr of the Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency.

Glenn-Carr was part of a pilot program last year that helped a couple hundred people. One of them was her client, Derrick Kennedy.

"I was able to bypass foreclosure but more important than that is just the weight off of your shoulders," he said.

Kennedy says he was despondent at the prospect of losing his home, but the free one on one financial counseling saved his house and taught him so much about money.

"When I started realizing all of the wonderful entities that the many groups like Wayne metro had to offer, it empowered me," he said.

It's not just help with foreclosures. There are many wrap-around services offered as well.

"Assistance with utilities, water bills and then we help them to look at their finances, and build a budget and talk about savings," Glenn-Carr said.

It could be a college kid trying to save to buy a car or a senior trying to live on a fixed income, or anyone, anywhere in between. They plan to open seven financial empowerment centers throughout the city this year to reach everyone.

Across the county it's estimated that financial empowerment centers have helped more than 85,000 people reduce debt by $100 million and increase savings by 10 million.

In the Wayne County Treasurer's Office, they see an average of 500 people per day. That's plenty of opportunities to make a difference.

"If you can actually talk to someone on-on-one and find out what's going on then we can figure out a better way to help," Sabree said.

To schedule an appointment at the Detroit Financial Empowerment Center call (313) 322-6222 or click here.