July 22, 2020
Dear Client Partners,
We continue to be here for you, to support you during this very difficult time. With the end of the deferral period coming up (it ends in July) we wanted to share different ways you can access support if you still need it.
Loan Payment Assistance: If you still are unable to make your full loan payment because of the impact of COVID-19 (i.e. job loss, reduction in hours, etc.) we have limited funds to support your making that payment. You can complete a brief application stating how much you can pay. We will contact you to discuss your request.
Emergency Assistance: Fountain Fund Client Partners established an emergency assistance fund to be able to ask for and receive money for emergency needs with dignity and respect. A committee of Client Partners makes the decisions about the requests. Each Client Partner can ask for up to a total of $600 (can be over multiple requests but the requests can’t total more than $600 in a year) to cover things like a high utility bill, unexpected car repair, etc. You can apply here.
Credit Assistance: We have 1:1 financial wellness coaching through a partnership with Operation Hope and all Client Partners can have free coaching to improve your credit scores. Contact Paul to get signed up.
Looking for a Job?: Through a partnership with Network2Work we have a hub at our office where you can search for jobs that pay at least $12.50/hr. Contact Martize if you want to learn more.
Our offices remain open from 8:30AM-12:30PM each day. We also schedule appointments outside of that time. Please call in advance of coming to be sure we’re here and so we can be sure to adhere to distancing guidelines. We also ask that you wear a mask when you come.
June 8, 2020
Dear Client Partners,
We are here for you.
Your interactions are primarily with Paul and Martize, who are on the frontlines everyday answering your calls and texts and making sure you know we are committed to our partnership with you.
In my role as executive director I am more behind the scenes. One of my focuses has been ensuring that formerly incarcerated people are on our staff, board of directors, and our loan review committee. By giving the people we are serving the power to make decisions about our policies and distribution of money, we can start to make things more just. But the way we are doing things here at the Fountain Fund is only a start. True justice won’t happen without major disruption of things as we know it.
The murders of black people by police, the unfair laws that lead to unjust prison sentences, the policies that prevent you from accessing jobs and housing and a real chance at a fresh start, these are all horrible reminders of how bad things have been and still are. The changes we need will take millions of people like me realizing how complicit we’ve been.
I’m committed to doing my part. I will show up, speak up, be uncomfortable, and encourage my family and friends to do the same.
We are opening our offices again on Monday, June 15. We’ll be open from 8:30 AM-12:30 PM and we will have safety practices in place for you and our staff team. We will also continue to be available by phone and email. My contact information is below, and while Paul and Martize are the ones who make things happen here, I want you to know that I care too, and we are all here for you.
April 24, 2020
Dear Client Partner,
We have talked to most of you at this point and want you to know that we care about you, we understand the additional challenges this time is presenting, and we are working hard to find ways to support you. While our offices remain closed for the foreseeable future we remain available to work with you by phone and email.
In March we launched loan payment relief and emergency (see below), and so far 54 people have been helped by these options. We are also referring people to the community emergency response fund when they aren’t eligible for our programs.
We are all worried about the far-reaching impact of COVID-19 and know the hardships will last even when things begin to slowly reopen. For that reason, the Fountain Fund will defer payments for the next 90 days (May, June, July). Your next loan payment will not be due until the month of August. Your credit will not be impacted. You will still have the same balance due so essentially this will extend your loan by 3 months.
We encourage those of you who can keep paying to do so because it will clear your debt sooner and continue to improve your credit score. To provide an incentive to keep your good habit of making payments and to provide an additional boost to your credit, we will match any amount of payment you make during this period up to $100. What this means is that if your payment is $100 and you make that payment for May, The Fountain Fund will make an additional payment of $100 and you’ll get double credit with the credit bureaus and have one less payment due at the end. If your payment is $250 and you pay $25, we will match that $25. We will do this match up to $100 for each payment you make during May, June and July.
We are here for you. We care about you. We want you to stay in touch, especially during this time.
March 18, 2020
Dear Client Partners,
We know this is a stressful time and we want you to know we are here for you. While our offices are temporarily closed until at least March 27, we are available by phone and email and are continuing to conduct day-to-day business.
We also have two ways to help you during this unprecedented time: The Fountain Fund Emergency Assistance (FFEA) and a temporary Loan Payment Relief Fund. Details are below.
The Fountain Fund Emergency Assistance Fund (FF EA) is now accepting applications
Mission: for Client Partners to be able to ask for and receive emergency financial assistance with dignity and without having to pay it back.
The Emergency Assistance Fund was established by Client Partners and is administered by Client Partners. People who request and receive money will be asked to participate in future fundraisers. FF EA will provide financial assistance in emergency situations (up to $600) to Client Partners of the Fountain Fund who have been in good standing for at least 3 months (this means your loan payments are paid for last 3 months). The funds can cover things like a high utility bill, unexpected car expense, etc. The payment will go directly to where it is due. Checks will not be made payable to the person applying. If you are a City resident you should call 234-4490 to see if you are eligible for funds they have before applying to FF EA.
If you have questions about the FF EA you can call Brandi Herndon, Co-Chair of the FF EA Committee, at 434-806-8628 or George Kennedy, Co-Chair of the FF EA Committee, at 434-422-0659. Other Committee members include David Barnett, Daniel Herrlein and Duane Washington.
We have established a temporary Loan Payment Relief Fund if you have been impacted by COVID-19
If you have made all of your loan payments in 2020 and your financial circumstances have been impacted by COVID-19, you can apply to have your next loan payment covered by a temporary fund we have established. Examples of impact include losing a job, decreased hours, additional child care expenses, etc.
To apply for support, fill out THIS FORM. If you have questions, contact Paul Yates at 305-546-3989.
Due to the need for physical distancing, we have cancelled the Client Partner Connection Meeting and Financial Education Workshop for March.