Without access to capital and banking services and, as a result, assets—such as a home and reliable transportation—it’s hard for anyone to get ahead. Debt overload coupled with a lack of personal budgeting skills can drain already strained pocketbooks.
Step Up works on different fronts to help low-income families build wealth: financial education, banking, and income. It participates in the Chatham-Savannah Volunteer Income Tax Coalition, the Financial Educators Consortium, (see "Financial education and credit counseling) the Savannah Banking Taskforce, ("Banking the Unbanked") and it supports micro lending (both ACCION USA and the local Small Business Assistance Corporation are collaborative members) in order to promote economic independence.
Having a job and earning a paycheck is not enough to end poverty in most people's lives. The ability to save, to invest in higher education and retirement, to start a small business or to purchase reliable transportation and a home-in short living out the "American dream"-moves families ahead.
"While there is a strong relationship between income and assets, they are very different concepts. Assets refers to the stock of wealth in a household. In contrast, income refers to the flow of resources in a household, a concept associated with consumption of goods and services and standard of living.
"...income only maintains consumption, but assets change the way people think and interact in the world." ("Assets and the Poor," Michael Sherraden, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 1991, pgs 5-6