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Mentorship and financial literacy empower Crabtree Corner residents

The residents of YWCA Crabtree Corner Housing survive on incomes of $20,000 a year or less. Many of these women have experienced homelessness, but all have committed to overcoming their addictions and raising their children.

For these residents, the idea of having extra money to save for their futures feels impossible. This is where Karen McNabb comes in as the Program Coordinator of the Financial Literacy and Peer Mentorship Program at Crabtree Corner Housing. The program runs for nine months and includes mentorship from former residents, a wellness program and a 10-week financial literacy program. We are very grateful to the Robert L. Conconi Foundation for providing lead funding for this project.

The mentorship component is important because, as Karen explains, “Women come here and feel alone, and having someone to talk to who understands their struggles is huge.” The mentors are happy to give back and make a difference and they get just as much out of the relationships as those they’re helping. “One mentor told me this program saved her life because it made her feel valued and got her back into the community,” says Karen.

As Karen delivers the Financial Literacy Program she sees firsthand the benefits of empowering residents with financial knowledge, including the basics of financial planning, budgeting and banking. The program is having a profound and lasting impact on the participants. One resident was able to save $7,000 for her child’s future education.

The women have spent most of their lives struggling to get through each day. The Financial Literacy and Peer Mentorship Program empowers them to plan for their futures.


For more information, or to support residents of YWCA Crabtree Corner Housing, please contact Brenda Ulmer at bulmer@ywcavan.org / 604 895 5764.

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