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When money is tight, knowledge is power

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Financial resource center opens its doors Saturday

By Janet Robb

TROY - Helping people pay down debt, deal with creditors and them keep their homes is a goal Bill Reid wants to accomplish with the Help and Resource Center.

Opening for its first presentation Saturday, Reid, pastor of Troy Methodist Church, said he has at least four people signed up to attend the first meeting but hopes for more. The center will offer assistance and information to families and individuals struggling financially or worried about what to do when the future looks unstable.

With layoffs, job losses, cutbacks, foreclosures and an uncertain future, families and individuals need a survival plan, said Reid. "A lot of people panic and they don't know how to take charge. I don't want to see people lose their homes."

The resource center will open the first Saturday of each month for two and a half hours of training and information. Four specific concerns will be addressed. The first session will instruct on how to deal with collectors and creditors. The key is to take control of the situation rather than be controlled by the collection process. The second session will show how to locate available local resources for assistance.

The third session will teach participants to lay out a spending plan. Whatever the amount of income, there must be a plan for spending that money.

The priority is to build the four walls around the family with food, clothing, shelter and transportation.

The last session will offer advice for working through the stress of financial problems and pressures. Much of the material will be presented by video. There are real solutions for real problems, Reid said.

The first meeting will be April 4 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Troy Methodist Church, located at the corner of Spring and Walnut streets. To sign up for the meeting, call Reid at 547-3441 or 547-6030. Preregistration will ensure there are enough copies of handouts for participants.