Kitsap Credit Unions Offer Resources, Leadership to Help Members ‘Survive Sequestration’

Three credit unions in Washington’s Kitsap County worked together to provide a live demonstration of the credit union difference on Tuesday by hosting a town hall event to show support and share resources with members impacted by sequestration

Peninsula Community Federal Credit Union, Connection Credit Union and Kitsap Credit Union led the town hall, an event called “Surviving Sequestration: A Community Town Hall” that featured several speakers and a resource fair to help attendees address the various financial, physical and emotional needs that often accompany times of financial change.

With many of the Kitsap community’s nearly 14,000 civilian defense employees facing as much as a 20 percent pay cut in the form of furloughs and overtime restrictions, the credit unions’ primary message was itself a reflection of their local values.

“We had two primary goals: to give people hope and resources to be able to navigate the situation,” said Peninsula President and CEO Jim Morrell.

Leah Olson, Kitsap Credit Union’s vice president of marketing, asked many attendees why they had felt compelled to attend the event.

“There was a common theme of uncertainty about the future and people looking for a little encouragement and information to help them get through financial challenges,” Olson said. “Many also expressed appreciation that this event was created by credit unions working collaboratively to help the community.”

Of course, the offer to help went well beyond referrals and simple encouragement.

The three organizing credit unions announced 30 free community financial education classes scheduled in April and May that will be taught by credit union staff members in conjunction with American Financial Solutions and with the support of Kitsap Community Resources. All three credit unions also pledged to continue to listen to members and work with them to offer solutions, such as:

  • Referral to the Balance Financial Fitness program, which offers free financial counseling and educational resources;
  • Referral to a number of free classes provided through local credit unions and their partner organizations; and
  • Extending the term of a loan, refinancing to decrease interest rates and/or monthly payment amounts, or consolidating debt to lower payments and help make existing debt more manageable.
  • Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), who expressed his shared frustration with the sequestration process and encouraged attendees to use his office as a resource, was joined at the town hall by representatives from the offices of Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray.

Rounding out the event’s credit union presence were Navy Federal Credit Union, BECU, and Our Community Credit Union. Complementing the support offered by the area’s financial institutions were more than 15 other community partners, including the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), Costco (offering part-time jobs to furloughed workers), the Kitsap County Food Bank Coalition, Kitsap Mental Health, Balance, Fleet and Family Resources, United Ways of Mason and Kitsap County, Wave Cable, and Puget Sound Energy, among others.

Click here to view more photos from Surviving Sequestration.

 

Questions or comments? Contact Matt Halvorson, Anthem Editor: mhalvorson@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News, Compliance, Compliance News, Events.