What We Do
Common Wealth Charlotte (CWC) is an innovative non-profit organization providing financial capability-building services to Charlotte’s economically-vulnerable families. CWC uses financial education coupled with access to traditional, yet specially-designed banking products and services. It's trauma-informed financial education (TIFE) curriculum is unique to any other organization operating locally, and offers a proven alternative to traditional, one-way financial assistance. CWC produces long-lasting change and upward economic mobility by replacing the negative experiences of scarcity, poverty and having to continually ask for financial assistance with empowerment, higher credibility as a borrower and an opportunity for the recipient to "pay it forward" to the next family in a similar situation.
TIFE is a new best practice introduced to the Charlotte community by CWC. It involves a deep understanding and recognition of the physical, psychological, and emotional trauma experienced by our most fragile working poor. It accomplishes its effort by empowering clients in both classroom and one-to-one settings, create an environment of safety, trustworthiness, transparency, peer support, mutual respect, consumer choice, and culturally relevant discourse.
CWC's unique approach provides access to a re-banking program and donor-funded loan collateral pool, allowing its credit union partner to bank and make low-interest loans (called CWC Opportunity Loans) to clients with otherwise insufficient credit scores. These services enable clients to start on a pathway of upward mobility and break out of the cycle of poverty by providing an affordable alternative for depositing paychecks, addressing financial emergencies, refinancing existing predatory debt, and paying off items that negatively affect credit scores.