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Maryland CASH (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope) Campaign 

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All Spotlights

Carmen Shorter, Financial Stability Case Manager at Humanim, Inc.

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Carmen Shorter came to Baltimore in 2008 to do crisis prevention work for women who struggled with cycles of incarceration, addiction, and homelessness. She began by doing outreach in East Baltimore, a neighborhood she has returned to in her new job atHumanim. Carmen provides case management, coaching, and benefit screening to her Humanim clients, most of whom are parents of young children at area schools. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maryland University College.
Carmen is interested in the community aspect of the Financial Stability Pathway Project. “Uncertainty and pain is something all people have in common. No one wants to feel alone in this work, so I try to think about how to build in community in all I do.” As a previous participant in a Maryland CASH financial coaching group, she’s bringing that experience with goal setting and achievement to her work with clients. “I try to take the idea of being reflective into my interactions with clients, to be interested and supportive in holding a space for them to make a breakthrough and find their own success.” Welcome to the network, Carmen!

Veronica Purcell is an EarnBenefits Coordinator with the Baltimore CASH Campaign

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Veronica Purcell is an EarnBenefits Coordinator with the Baltimore CASH Campaign. She screens clients at Mondawmin mall for social service benefits such as food stamps and energy assistance that can help them to boost their bottom lines. She has over 10 years of experience in human services, which spans the areas of social services, housing, mental health, and homelessness.

When talking with clients about finances, Veronica recommends that practitioners “meet a client where they’re at” when it comes to their household needs. “Many times as practitioners, it’s easy for us to tell a client to get rid of their cable TV or to stop paying tithes to their church; when the reality is that many times the TV is a parents’ life line to keeping the children settled when they’ve had a rough day—and not tithing can mean that you’re cheating God,” Veronica shared. Veronica uses her diverse experience and knowledge of community resources including those in the FSP network to provide open-minded support to all of her clients as they navigate difficulties with personal finances.

Antoinette Brown works as an EarnBenefits Eligibility Counselor at Catholic Charities

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Antoinette Brown is a committed community advocate, who works as an EarnBenefits Eligibility Counselor at Catholic Charities Our Daily Bread Employment Center. She can sign clients up for about 19 benefits, depending on eligibility: from food stamps to healthcare. Not only does Antoinette believe that everyone would benefit from saving money, but she also thinks that everyone still has something to learn about saving for the future. Antoinette was one of our two winners of a scholarship to the Common Cents 2012 Conference, which she attended looking specifically for knowledge and tactics in advocacy. During her time with ODBEC, she’s met with many different community groups to speak about the difficulties facing the clients of Catholic Charities. Part of her job is to sign clients up for public benefits, and she’s sure to treat clients the way that she would like to be treated because “nowadays everyone has a story.” During election years, you can find her helping to register people to vote. She’s a resident of Pikesville, MD, where she resides with her husband Dwayne of twenty-years. Antoinette has two children and three grandchildren.

Marina Gethers, LCSW-C, has always had an interest helping clients and employees to find practical ways to start saving money

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Marina Gethers, LCSW-C, has always had an interest helping clients and employees to find practical ways to start saving money for short-term emergencies and for the long-term goal of a comfortable retirement. She developed an internal website for her employer, the Social Security Administration (SSA), to allow all SSA employees track their spending habits and make a commitment to make a short- or long- term goal. Her motto: “If I give you a fish, you will eat for a day. If I teach you how to fish, you will eat for a lifetime.” A Certified Financial Social Worker, Marina recommends that all FSP partners not only help their clients in the present, but that we also ask how they plan to stay out of financial trouble, and facilitate that future-oriented growth. Marina is currently leading our FSP partners in client recruitment. She has a M.S.W. in Social Work from University of Kansas and a M.S. in Human Resource Development from Towson State University.

Althea Saunders-Ranniar is committed to continually improving the quality inancial education for residents of Southwest Baltimore

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Althea Saunders-Ranniar is committed to continually improving the quality and availability of financial education and services for residents of Southwest Baltimore. Althea has an MBA from the University of Baltimore and nearly two decades of experience providing financial stability services including financial education, coaching, benefit screening, and tax preparation. She’s a long-time user of the Asset Platform, and even helped to advise Maryland CASH and the Aspen Institute on how to bring it to Baltimore for the Financial Stability Pathway Project. Althea recommends that first-time users take a tour of the Asset Platform and really look through the different resource categories to see what might be useful for work with their clients. In the future, she’d like to see a social networking component added so that FSP practitioners can share their successes and questions with one another: a community of practitioners working together to empower Baltimore City residents to earn, keep, and save their money.