Sharon Matthews, a 61-year-old veteran, was the first person to attend a mobile bank event hosted by the Martindale Brightwood Community Development Center on Sept. 16. She saw the flyer on Facebook and thought it would be an opportunity to learn how to become a homeowner.
“I am tired of renting,” she said. “I deserve it. I worked hard for it. You have some beautiful homes in this area, and if the bank wants to help me, I am going to get a home in this area.”
In a plaza near the Martindale Brightwood CDC, Matthews went inside the Fifth Third Bank eBus — a bus with customer service and learning stations inside — where she was able to learn about her options to buy a home in the next year.
Martindale-Brightwood residents have been without a bank in the community for nearly three years, as the last bank, PNC Financial Services, closed Nov. 15, 2019. Amina Pierson, executive director of the Martindale Brightwood CDC, said the event helps residents learn about banking.
“Banks can do so much for the community,” she said. “Once you build a relationship with a bank, it opens so many doors for small businesses.”
Inside the bus, people could speak with Fifth Third bankers, learn budgeting and saving strategies, get a free credit score report and learn how to raise their credit scores.
Several vendors were also selling their products at the event.
Pierson said the Martindale Brightwood CDC is working on getting a bank back in the area. She encourages people to plan all purchases and to teach their children about banking.
“Getting your finances in order is the beginning of getting out of debt and being able to start building a financial legacy for your family,” Pierson said.
Contact religion reporter Abriana Herron at 317-924-5243. Follow her on Twitter @Abri_onyai. Herron is also a Report for America corps member with The GroundTruth Project, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization dedicated to supporting the next generation of journalists in the U.S. and worldwide.