Far too often, financial and housing problems undermine people’s physical and mental health.
Through a new effort with the East Harris County Empowerment Council, Amerigroup is taking aim at these issues in the Houston area.
Amerigroup’s latest contribution to the Empowerment Council’s Engage and Empower Initiative will provide flexible financial assistance to as many as 120 people in East Harris County. It also will open health literacy workshops, financial literacy classes and benefit enrollment assistance to hundreds of people and families in the area.
The contribution comes on the heels of a collaboration with Texas A&M University-San Antonio to support the Financial Literacy program at the university’s Mays Center for Experiential Learning and Community Engagement. That collaboration was the subject of an editorial in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times this summer.
It also comes at a crucial time for people in East Harris County and across the country — with historic inflation and rising interest rates making such challenges even more important.
Financial and housing issues can have a direct effect on people’s lives and health — especially those who are already vulnerable. As the editorial notes, nearly one in five Americans can’t pay for medical care up front, according to the US Census Bureau. And in Texas, 48% of residents have not set aside money to cover three months of expenses in case of emergencies such as sickness or job loss. That ranks Texas 37th in the nation, according to research cited by the Federal Reserve in Dallas.
Further, a Northwestern University study showed high debt correlated with poor physical and mental health and high blood pressure in young adults.
“We know that the stress that comes from having to stretch every dollar, or not having stable housing, can lead to serious health issues, so our goal is to help our neighbors take control of their lives and transform their futures,” said Terence Narcissse, CEO of EHCEC. “We are extremely grateful to Amerigroup for being a long-standing collaborator, and for the life-changing resources and opportunities they continue to provide across our community.”
The Empowerment Council was established in 2008 to improve the quality of life in East Harris County through innovative, sustainable programs and services that help men, women, and youth achieve their full potential.
Amerigroup and the Council have been working together for more than a decade to improve lives in East Harris County, with Amerigroup providing hundreds of thousands of dollars to help connect communities to resources and opportunities.