DuPage Foundation Grant Funds Salvation Army's Ways to Work Program
Apr 9, 2015 4:41 PM -
"The ultimate goal is to empower clients in becoming more economically and financially self-sufficient," said Jonathan Tostige, loan manager of the Salvation Army's Ways to Work program. Clients who don't qualify for a conventional car loan are guided through the process to apply for the Ways to Work car loan. "This helps them secure better employment, boost their credit and give them time back with their families." Although Tostige has only been involved with the Ways to Work program since last summer, it was established in 1984. Ways to Work is a nationally-approved loan program and community development financial institution based in Wisconsin. It is the funding source for the loan program and provides procedural and case management support to the Salvation Army. The Ways to Work program serves DuPage and Cook counties and the city of Aurora. Most clients are referred to the program through social service or partner agencies and by word-of-mouth. All are low to moderate income. The program is designed to first educate clients about finances. "Initially, all clients are required to attend a three-hour class (presented by banking partners) in which budgeting, loans and finances are discussed," said Tostige. "After these classes, the clients have a better grip on finances, which is evident from the pre- and post-tests that are administered."