Joyce Zuk of Family Services Windsor-Essex, left, and Wendy Dupuis, executive director of Financial Fitness, at the FSWE on July 22, 2019. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

FSWE adds financial wellness to its portfolio

A non-profit that helps families across Windsor-Essex is now able to provide enhanced assistance with financial wellness.

Family Services Windsor Essex (FSWE) announced Monday morning that it is merging its administration with that of Financial Fitness, which provides credit counselling and financial first aid to clients struggling with money problems. The partnership, which has been in place for five years already, is now strengthened with more of a focus on improving financial literacy in the community.

“For the past five years, our partnership has truly grown,” said Joyce Zuk, executive director of FSWE. “We’ve looked at opportunities where we can work together on programming, so you could say this integration of our services is actually an evolutionary type of process.”

Wendy Dupuis, executive director of Financial Fitness, said no one is really immune to financial issues. Despite the fact that the local economy is stronger than it was a decade ago, Dupuis points out that there is uneasiness locally concerning the future of some auto supplier businesses and the shift situation at the FCA Windsor Assembly Plant.

“A lot of our clients struggle with debt,” said Dupuis. “So we want to let people know that we can help with those people who are worrying about debt if they’re not comfortable if they’re staying up nights and having problems.”

According to well-known Canadian financial wellness expert and former reality show host Gail Vaz-Oxlade, money problems are a leading reason why relationships fail and couples break up. With this integrated system, Dupuis said they are now able to not only counsel couples through deeply personal issues but also refer them to someone in the same building to help with the tricky financial aspects.

Under this new model, assistance in financial planning, debt reduction, and other money matters will be provided in specialized counselling sessions that are available in locations across Windsor-Essex. These may be set up through set appointments, as well as walk-in counselling sessions that are offered at the various locations throughout the workweek. For complete information on financial counselling sessions, visit the official FSWE website.

FSWE is hosting a Trivia Night to give participants a chance to test their wits with not only general knowledge questions but also questions on financial well-being in a fun, relaxed event. Teams of six to eight people are welcome to take part in the free contest beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 255 on Wyandotte Street East. Information on that is also available at the FSWE website.