Dismas House Receives $25K Grant from Fifth Third Bank

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NASHVILLE, Tenn., – Leading Middle Tennessee reentry program, Dismas House of Nashville, announces it has received a $25,000 grant from Fifth Third Bank to support its financial literacy program for residents called Empower U Financial Literacy Program.

As a longtime program partner, the Fifth Third Bank financial education curriculum includes a series of four courses for Dismas House residents: Budgeting & Saving, Boosting Credit, Slashing Debt and Protecting Your Identity. In addition, they introduced a fifth bonus course called First Time Homeownership.

Ginny Burnett, relationship manager for Middle Tennessee at Fifth Third Bank, and an advisory board member for Dismas House of Nashville, teaches classes for residents in partnership with Jacolby Robinson, financial center manager at Fifth Third. They recently introduced a customized digital learning platform that includes 35 short, interactive classes on various financial topics to educate residents on the basics of banking.

“We’re delighted to continue to support Dismas House residents with the building blocks to a secure financial future,” says Dave Briggs, regional president of Fifth Third Bank, who serves on the executive committee of the board of directors of Dismas House of Nashville.

Since June 2020, residents have opened 20 bank accounts with Fifth Third Bank with an emphasis on saving. Fifth Third does not charge any fees for residents and will open accounts for those with prior convictions, like fraud, that many banks would turn away.

Dismas House graduate, Edward, participated in the Fifth Third Bank financial literacy program and established his first checking account with a focus on budgeting and saving. “I learned a lot in the financial literacy class,” says Edward. “I’ve never had a bank account and the representatives laid the whole thing out in the most professional, yet simplest ways, for everyone to grasp. They have been great.” Edward is employed at American Paper & Twine and has been able to purchase a car and save for the future using the skills he learned in the financial literacy class.

“We could not be more pleased with our program partnership with Fifth Third Bank,” says Dr. Julie Doochin, vice president of programs, Dismas House of Nashville. “Our residents are able to gain personal financial skills while benefiting from a very hands-on, individualized approach to banking.”

This project is funded under a Grant Contract with the State of Tennessee, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

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