By Jim Donovan: The City of Philadelphia today launched six Financial Empowerment Centers to provide free, confidential, professional financial counseling to Philadelphia residents.

Philadelphia is one of five U.S. cities providing the service thanks to a $3.3 million grant from the Cities for Financial (CFE) Fund. This CFE Fund initiative is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Project, which aims to spread proven and promising ideas among cities.

Through the program, professional financial counselors will provide clients with one-one-one counseling and guidance on issues such as managing and paying down debts, opening safe and affordable bank accounts, building healthy credit and creating budgets that facilitate savings.

Philadelphia has partnered with Clarifi, the region’s leading financial counseling non-profit, to provide the services.

The Financial Empowerment Centers will be integrated within agencies offering complementary services, so that clients can more efficiently receive a wider spectrum of supports. Sites include Congreso, People’s Emergency Center, Community Legal Services, Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, Community College of Philadelphia, and the City’s Municipal Services Building. Appointments are available Monday through Saturday and can be scheduled by calling 1-855-FIN-PHIL.

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