What: Event to promote financial literacy
When: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: Gainesville Housing Authority main office parking lot, 750 Pearl Nix Parkway
The Gainesville Housing Authority hopes its Bank Bus event on Thursday will help residents with their budgets, financial literacy and computer use.
The authority is working with Branch Banking & Trust Co. to bring the BB&T Bank Bus to public housing residents to share financial strategies that can strengthen the residents’ budgets.
“We’ve been working with BB&T to increase financial literacy with our residents,” said Judith Escamilla, executive director of GHA, which is home to about 1,600 individual residents in 495 units throughout the city.
For example, residents can learn to pay bills online rather than taking a taxi to the market to buy money orders each month.
Some residents are wary of bank accounts and online banking because of fear of identity theft, Escamilla said.
“(Residents) can learn to check information, check bank balances and how to check information securely,” she said.
On the bilingually staffed bus, residents will be able to set up checking or saving accounts, learn to pay bills online, check their credit scores and explore steps to home ownership, among other options. There will be free helium balloons, gifts and drawings for summer family items such as coolers.
The event, which will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., will be held in the parking lot of the main GHA office at 750 Pearl Nix Parkway near Queen City Parkway.
The bus features 11 computers, a private office for consultations, a printer, a paper shredder and seating.
Residents also will be able to learn how to use an ATM.
“Sometimes it is intimidating to people who’ve never used one before,” Escamilla said.
Another objective is helping residents use computers.
“We want to promote use of computers, and help them continue to use computers,” she said.
“The bus has been rolling all over the state, stopping at different locations,” she said, noting it was at the recent Bear on the Square festival in Dahlonega.
“We chose this day because it is a day when residents do come in, they do pay rent,” Escamilla said. “We expect elderly, we expect folks who do come in, moms, people from all over different (GHA) sites.”