An innovative partnership between Metro Vancouver ACORN and Vancity Credit Union is reducing poverty and strengthening communities across Metro Vancouver.
The program creates an integrated approach that couples' free income tax preparation, financial literacy training, leadership development and involvement in community campaigns. The program works by using free income tax preparation as an intake tool to find community members who could benefit from advanced financial literacy or leadership development training - then engaging them in these services.
The program’s results speak for themselves: 1612 taxes prepared and over $2,250,000.00 in returns filled for low and moderate income families. Even more impressive is that 23% of the returns were back-year taxes done community members that our outreach staff and organizers engaged. This has resulted in over $500,000 that otherwise would not have been returned to the local economies - and families struggling to make ends meet.
Many of the individuals who came through the tax site also became active participants in BC ACORN’s campaigns, in particular the ground breaking Living Wage Policy that was recently adopted in New Westminster, BC. Participants also become involved in campaigns for improved childcare and disability support programs and have benefited from Financial Literacy Courses that were also delivered in partnership with Vancity Credit Union.