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Building Wealth

building wealth

Step Up Savannah works to help our low-and moderate-income neighbors to become and remain financially secure by promoting policies and programs that help families and individuals build, maintain, and protect financial assets such as savings, homeownership, and entrepreneurship.

Step Up Savannah works collaboratively with our community partners to support strategies focused on helping individuals and families.

31% of our community is either unbanked or under banked

strategies that help families build wealth

A program adopted by the Banking Taskforce to help people without a bank account access free and low-cost checking and savings accounts.

Easing the financial strain on individuals and families by helping them navigate public benefits (SNAP, TANF, WIC, Medicaid, etc.). We support our neighbors throughout the process, from finding benefits they may qualify, to the application and renewal process.

Empowering people to become better able to take control of their circumstances, improve their quality of life, and ensure a more stable future for themselves and their families by improving their knowledge and skills related to earning, spending, budgeting, saving, and borrowing.

Increasing equitable access to safe, useful, and affordable financial products and services that meet the needs of our neighbors.

Step Up participates in the Savannah Coastal Empire Asset Development Coalition, a network of organizations involved in financial literacy efforts in Savannah and Chatham County. The coalition’s primary initiative is running the annual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites at numerous locations.

VITA is an IRS program that enables eligible taxpayers  (those earning $70,000 or less in 2017) to have their federal and state income taxes prepared for free by certified volunteers. In Savannah, the Neighborhood Improvement Association (NIA) takes the lead in coordinating the VITA program.

VITA volunteers make sure that filers receive all the credits they’re eligible for, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is a federal income tax credit for low- to moderate-income working families. Generally, families with an annual income of $50,000 or less are eligible for the EITC, depending on household size.  Families also may qualify for the credit even if their income is so low they are not required to file a tax return. The IRS estimates that over $8 million in EITC is left unclaimed each year.

  • Want to do your own taxes for free? Click on www.myfreetaxes.com to prepare your own return.
  • Save some, spend some: Did you know that you can purchase US Savings Bonds for yourself or the children in your life with part of your refund when you file your tax return?
  • You can also split your refund into three different bank accounts, making it easy to save some and spend some. Ask your tax preparer about these easy ways to save.

Engaging in strategic partnerships and policy advocacy to shape public policy and discourse and challenge the systemic causes of poverty, we seek to strengthen community voices around these issues and advance equitable and just policies in areas that contribute to generational poverty.