Jan 29, 2017|
United Way’s Terri Westerfield discusses the many services offered by the United Way of Southeast Louisiana.
United Way’s Terri Westerfield discusses the many services offered by the United Way of Southeast Louisiana.
United Way’s Terri Westerfield discusses the many services offered by the United Way of Southeast Louisiana.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Hello everybody welcome to united way lives united I'm Jerry Westerfield. And media day ought to welcome in friends who are here to talk about. EITC. Vita and super tax day let's welcome to the program or just Adam's pain. Vice president financial capability another way of southeast Louisiana welcome Modesto. Heights area or yo I'm dude well Demetric mercantile and take you for coming back. Dmitry is the public affairs would see a specialist because you know it all right. At Entergy. Thank you so much for joining us today. And thank you so much for having affairs and last but not least the locally now look Paris French and found is the president and CEO. Of total community action welcome Alan thank you Terry grant to be here. For those of you for joining us today I want you to know that united way of southeast Louisiana has a blueprint for prosperity. To eradicate poverty in our region. We're strategically investing in programs initiatives collaborations. And advocacy efforts to meet our communities Greece needs. We have a bold vision of equitable communities where all individuals are healthy. Educated and economically stable in Jefferson Orleans plot commend Saint Bernard. Saint Tammany tend to hut and Washington parishes and that's why today's topics are so important to wise. United way Entergy TCA. The asset building coalition. And a host of partners that you'll hear now. Want to help lower to moderate wagers. Keep more of their hard earned tax money this season. We're encouraging those who were eligible to file for earned income tax credits. They can get pre tax preparation to help but vita sites will explain it that is. And those are seven and our region while energy I think we are read that you hear 31 site across the state. And I can be growing correct that is correct so we've got a lot to talk about. So you've got sites from a neat to Zachary eight and see all the way across the Kentucky actually hit sites across our entire region which includes what. Portions of Texas. All of Arkansas Mississippi. The remainder of the Louisiana. Why else so it it's real legal that's it we forget we think of you here are big fortune 500 but you've got other states that you are and all of port because what you're doing. Is gearing up for super tax day. And that it's February 4. And the goal all of us here and more to put money back in the pockets of taxpayers. Who will then pumping dollars back into our economy it is a win win situation. So I first talked about are what you perhaps suggested talk about the EITC. And just explain what that is before we get into vita because a lot of people heard that acrid AM. But the earned income tax that is something that is so important to so so many people. Okay that earned income tax credit is the largest anti poverty program that the federal government offers. It is a text and allows the taxpayers to keep. Money in their pack it's it's like. Free money from the federal government it's credit for. Working class people that have dependents. And so it's great great great great grand. This is something again that it's geared towards the lower to moderate wage earner and it is an opportunity. Because we hear too often. That people think well I haven't made enough money. Don't bother filing taxes but that's wrong that only quicker you penalty involved right you will get that back if you file file file. And now that's where vita comes in and that is the volunteer income tax assistance program. Crew so the volunteer income tax assistance program is program that is funded grant funded their fellow. Government and allows. Organizations to provide. Free tax preparation services or the taxpayers and our communities. So it's a wonderful program. Asset building coalition of southeast Louisiana of which you and I mean we. Beats. Receive a two year grant. Just a little while ago a 108000. Dollars and some change how and that money supports all of the partners that we have as a part of our coalition. Whether it be helping them buy computers opened them my supplies to keep their sites running. Where they provides. Cash subsidies. For the and jabbed who is the site coordinators. And I'm being very specific about that because the grand palace cannot be used for tax preparation services. He can only be it can be used for the services that coordinates the ticks prep work and other responsibilities. That go along with it. But there's a lot of preparation to prepare those tax and you've got to get the volunteers usually got to go through this whole process. And that could be. A little bit a lengthy now Belmont I'm gonna turn over you because I know that TCE eight and what did you get members of this asset building coalition. But T been involved for some time in this rightists prologue time I remember I think you're the first hard. Where the head by decide right. Yes CC will led the implementation of either site in the early 1990s. Actually in the late 1980s. Under doctor Peter Dangerfield. And the fact that the Dangerfield was actually. A strong leader in getting Louisiana to really take part in the ITC in advance and it. TC ran on public media campaign I'm honored that I was born member back there and and actually do many of those videos about EITC and the benefits. For our low income families to take part and take advantage of earning income tax credit. Well let's talk a little bit and 88 and the leader you can wait and what these benefits are we heard about B I TC that's a benefit but overall in going to A vita site. Getting that three tax preparation. What can it mean to some people. And to our community so it could mean opportunities. That they normally as you stated earlier would not take giving up. Hitting those extra dollars in their pocket. And then they key of coming to super tax state and really puts its participating in the program the entire season. Is to handle 100% of the dollars back into your pocket these dot dollars do not get taken by. Predatory lenders. That usually advertise to come get your taxes done. And they'll make you alone you there's no loan here this money is going straight back to use. And 100%. And we take nothing back for it. And that is in the is so important because. All of our groups are very interested in combating poverty in our region and to want to get you just mentioned predatory lenders. Some people I know other anxious for the money. They they maybe need to pay their rent put food on the table close their children but they're saying OK I get my money now. If you come great just that little bit he'll get it all that and you're not going to have to pay sometimes what can amount to an exorbitant fee. To someone whose land Hugh this money early. And one of the things to us and civic caveat is that. This year because there has been so much. Pride phone glowing moon. Refunds are going to be delayed up until February 15 anyway. Still those individuals and art you know paying to get their taxes prepared. And giving rampant anticipation loans. They need to know up front than it. There. I've applauded cheered their aid. Didn't aggregate you're dead. Wrapped in anticipation laden president. Is gonna be delayed just like everybody else's and no bad. IRS advertises that. Refunds come back in twenty Wendy's ours is something in my list and 21 days. Bomb on an average is much less time than men. Unless you have some kind of issue with something like that. So when you look at the amount of time that it takes the pay prepare his ticket refunds back. And reality is not any faster than. Then it would be when you get near Texas prepared the only option that the free tech prep doesn't offer. Is that wrapped in anticipation loans. That you don't have to pay interest on and fees on an all of the rest the stuff pickles. So get it it it's a deal that really can't be beat in the IRS and others are working all collectively to make this happen. Now super tax day folks are not represent a date yet in February 4 February 4. February 4 it is super tax day. This is where you need to be. At the Mercedes-Benz. Sue Bird town folks. And it's going to be on to the holding of fair quite some time going to be spent and I or maybe. I Dmitry you can tell a little bit about it and what's gonna go wanna look people can anticipate. Yes so it's really an exciting time it's Super Bowl weekend super Saturday super tax day super refund sit there right up. Also learn. Saturday February 4. The hours of operation we claim to be fair to take prepare to our prepares to. Two texas' 9 AM until 3 PM. We will. Have other agencies and then I'm gonna let Thelma talk about other programs that'll be. There for you as well. But when we complete once you complete your taxes then you go through these processes. What's exciting is that with Carlson and his second harvest there second harvest will be available. Once you've completed your taxes once they once you've completed your taxes super heart pound second harvest will be there. To give those pales a box of food to the homeless. So you can get free taxes free box of food. Free services that will also be availability of animal at. Got a much talk about the service OK so pre tax day. We're trying to maximize the whole purpose of asset building coalition not only do we want to believe which attacks brief on your taxes drop. Maximizing their various tech. I'm credits that are available who we want should also begin to think about building your assets so we've invited all of the members of massive build a coalition. To set up resource tables from the IDA program. To the T she gave credit union. To hope crap out credit union any of the partners that can help. How families began to multiply their assets to build a stronger foundation to address there all family economics to do. We also going to be having a child care. Because we know that sometimes Saturdays. Stanley is unable to have access to child care to be able come out and participate so we're gonna provide child care on site. Offer children up to twelve years old we're gonna have some special guest we don't have sure saint. And several former saints players as well as the sensations will be pass and threw. And a couple of pelicans police I'm gonna have some special giveaways and prizes energy has cooked up a couple and we have a couple of others. Are we want it really have despaired of a super Saturday but also file families it is also the school X ball. Where all of the schools in Orleans parish will be having the us open expo on the floor of the superdome. And our partners at their ability to Louisiana we are coordinating to make sure that parents maximize all of the resource so failing that comes out. Can visit and learn about all the school options from free kick from birth than me say. 212. As well as get their taxes done and one location on one. So this is happy we're talking BD and I was thinking TPP from the TCA because tax preparation party I have got to stay stations. Maybe some players like edit the pelicans do. But this is such a large group and again role working in concert to make this. Better for the individuals get the money that they ever firm grip back in the pockets they can use it to meet their needs and plan for the future. I know the asset building coalition. Rather large graphic art if you but you know what I feel we've got the time and they deserve to have their names mentioned okay. Ladies what each take a few Kirk actor George start us off. So. Some of the programs as we mentioned and no we have. Our universities still university in Delgado university camp will also be participating. To work with us. We'll also hail. Representatives week while what I tell you is that Entergy. Has been. Training their employees. We have employee volunteers. And members of our legal department. Our tax departments finance. Many of our stamp that's all prepared and on board to be there to work hand in the end with the ethics coalition. As. I'll also tell you we have got to vote it's going to be how are we can't scoop hoops it's going to be there. So we do it's just it's going to be. It's what New Orleans is about. New Orleans is about celebrating to do things. And what weight better way to celebrate and to do your taxes and only two to use taxes to it early before Mardi Gras. We have all of that out the way well before April 18 arrives. And have that opportunity to get to Texas and but on the asset. Coalition I'm gonna let down with talk about. Her T Al ansari a little at a deficit to again OK. Okay so soon we have a group that's called aim which. So. Group of return terrorist employees. Total community action and who is one of rumors strong partners sued to an astronomical number of returns. We have Viet who serves as Vietnamese community Delgado community college. Dillard University hourly the only clause southern university and long guns illegally university. I'm an also Tulane University so we have Kingsley house who was caught humble it. How many oaks school. The community center. That's in harmony oaks farm believe the magnolia projects. So we have. Also opening two in those sites and plaque among parish. Through that cares and a so we have a number of partisan even go a little bit outside of united we serve service area we in Saint John Parrish. Where are also in the flesh bearish. Which had. For you in the foolish bearish. The department on health and human services in Saint John Paris so we have a number of different parties. We're continuously. Look for. Com organizations to join a coalition because. The more. The more people will be able to. Not be so much involved with those tax prepares and it offer gratitude and services. I think it's interesting that it would we're talking about all the university the college never are getting involved because failure they serving your community. But while that's a whole sector students. Students. A lot may be on scholarship. Working two and three jobs to keep themselves in school. Here now they can get the help that they need to and what are you good ladies mentioned IRS I think it was you can do about. We have Irish people we have tax. Accountants and things. Again via is about a volley of tear. Income tax assistance these are people who are giving of their time their energy their talent and as to how others in their community I think it's so. Admirable and yes to out of another program that. Will another group another organization. Points out last to know our children yes thanks pretty friends will also be participating with us. But we also have some pro Bono. Legal assistance that will be on site as well. Which is. Opportunities for individuals to. Take advantage of programs they really don't know exist in the area. Apple C will be. On site individuals that have run into issues on. Clearing out property. Of their titles he still typical person's right screen and now with the flooding that we had last year exactly so. I mean it is just a great opportunity we we are really excited we're real pumped up the next two weeks is is just all tax. And so he's not a view you through it not be sleeping at all during the past. Some homes were wondering where talk is about about about the tax is it getting it prepared. But there's always a but because there are some apartments are things that you need to know PG debris but. Also there are kind of ceilings are caps. On the income could you talk about that perhaps a little bit it. Explain to our listeners today. For what different requirements. For the vital programs income earned income limit is 54000. Dollars for 2016. So if that is a family is the total current income of 54000 dollars. An art to expedite I have face move biter experience. Taxpayers need to bring a valid photo ID. They had W twos on that too and I mean and we're not like those other people who won't take the last six. Europe. If you took there aren't in the affordable health care you need to bring your one on 958. Or any of the. No present because it will be a deduction and that they can oxy I'm learning something and it can be a deduction are even not reported eight panel can slow up your tax return it's still you need to know it. Is Social Security cards for you and everyone in the household there will be claimed on that return. So you don't you talked about childcare will be provided but. If you have a number of children you don't have to bring the mall digestive social you nice not to brag doesn't believe it's sold out but if you need the job care. But you must bring the Social Security card for everyone who will be clean on that return. Your previous year's tax returns if you asked them. And for your direct deposit you need to bring it council avoided chicks are your bank account number and routing number. And I say to the young people I have. To Lemond who bring out in order checking is a day I'm used that debit cards everything. Right down the routing number debit card doesn't have the routing number and I met some that. Believe it or not this generation does not. And so I stressed that because may have gimme all carry checks when actually they come to be our employees we're trying to do direct deposit they've got to go to the bank to get a check. And so they need to have that routing number if I can make a pitch our deaths of I'd like to say that. All of the community action agencies in the state particularly those in our region. All partners Jeff cap is a partner of the asset building coalition and that saves on department of health and human service is a community action agency in. Saint John often I do here. As well whereas the TCA in my pit. We are community action agencies and there are there is one in every parish in region one and we all standing up together to spoil following company. I do what it would be lovely wooded have you ladies on. And we don't have enough time to name all those who were involved a whole day and it just goes because it is truly truly. Just that important is and guess yes it is it is. The word that we do is just enhances. Astronomical. The word that we do has just been astronomical. We've been involved in. With a cool addition getting started back and 2009. And since the end. We are approaching completing. Around 98000 returns. We have help community members bringing in. Almost. A hundred million dollars why so we'd been really really busy. Helping people get as much back from there returns as possible. We continue to have growth. And if there's anyone out an audience whose interest in being in providing. The services. I'm please give me a call go on the web site you can't get my number just give me a call. And now we happen to talk to you about becoming a part of the coalition. And you know just wanna give I was at the taxis then you know one more blow. Everybody please come out on February of four from nine victory at the superdome. Thank you OG one word from. Jeanne we've all got web sites I'd like you'll give them but I know for united way in I guess you're talked not getting in contact with you. So that would be united way you see a lot as he LA dot org. And you can go on and find the information. Weaker what about because I know energy I was looking at that website wow again the eighty ZVMH. Is that great all these different locations statewide now. It you have listeners are going to be in Texas could be an Arkansas. You're spread arrest so every. Location every. Jurisdiction. Entergy Louisiana Entergy Arkansas Entergy Mississippi. And of course Entergy new lines are all hosting. So protects state on Saturday February before. So that information is truly available on our web site Entergy dot com. There's a link as a matter fact across the bar if it when you open it it talks about. Getting your taxes done so again you know entity is so. Pleased to be a part of this program him. And I'm really excited to work with both united way and total community action we realize we recognize. That our customers. Or how first priority. And taking care of their need. This is one way to an Entergy certainly gives back to the community. With our employees and our dollars to make sure programs like this. We know nonprofits we often ham are mission statement put. Entergy to talk about a good corporate sits in this fits right Ian. What from what you're doing in this community and if you sit the the larger than three state area absolutely you know our. Employees it is actually a goal it is it's an employee go. And it's their employer requirement. And our employees to use of any service dollars. In the community. And and also to work on various programs we have employees. That go out. A couple of times during the month and feed the homeless. We note the shelters. And make sure that our employee. That the individuals. That they see someone that actually care about them and encourage them to do better. We had so many of our employees that actually. Went to baton route. Not only did they got homes gut coworkers homes. We also provided. Supplies. Suit to get through that renovation. Along with providing. Closed in and then this the necessities. For families to its fifth. Those those are really the big highlights of what has happened this year something we just did that was exciting. We did. Our CEO Charles right. It is his. This is really important to you. And chairman of the board had to throw that in our charitable enterprise it and you know not anyways and short ahead. Some think he did that was really dynamic. Was in December. We had a secret Santa event where he went. 21 of our customer care centers. And all of the individuals that were in line before the door was opened invited them in and week. Took company dollars and we paid their light bill both what ever their balances where we paid it. To bring them all to zero balances. Wishing them well for the holidays. And giving them jumpstart. With some phones talking about a Merry Christmas yeah big honor Christmas which was I mean made a huge impact. And I wanna say we did maybe. Eighteen of 23 somewhere in between there customers this year. So guests and treaty we love our customers we love our city and we love our service territory. But he used to share believe it was the power of people when a man and now it is now weak power life yes. And it's true it's wonderful and fell to TC and my goodness we think of total reactions. You've been there on the floor if I yeah so close so many years. And this is something again that that you pride police say that group or on the cutting edge of the guy. TCU whereas I just finished teaching this course came out of the 1964 long poverty. And we were part of the movement that was invited an economic opportunity. And so far 52 years TC has stood as well it's official anti poverty agency. And we have. Take it ourselves to building the assets and resources to help families transition from low income. To moderate income into achieved economic goals. We provide. Which we can provide it every sinner but currently we're able to support for by the senators. Throughout the city celeb families can have access in their communities. And gobble it takes great pride in the work. Our staff is very committed to it so we know our motto is helping people change their lives and we definitely wanna continue to do that. Welcome please would you mind giving your email address or our web address wherever I slept like one or our website address is WWW. TCA day national law doc are. We're also FaceBook total community action and twelve. And so if you need to reach out those try any of those vehicles and well and do it once again for the energy list of related to click on there and see all the sites that you're working it. Yes though so the website is www. Entergy. Dot com for its relation while and if you're specific to that area but clearly if you just click on. Entergy dot com UC everything we're doing across the system. And just one more time what's coming up something very super. So protects Dave everywhere for it at this open down from 9 AM to 3 PM please come on in jaundice. And if you want more information you heard those two web sides from energy and TCA but. I guess let's hear from out of let him. Www. United way SB LAD. That award and Thelma one more time what's that cap it's for a family of four if you make 54000. Dollars. And it may sound like a lot folks it's not now when you have four children to support. And you're trying to pay rent mortgage transportation put food on the table. Think about school. And all those things almost topics gonna try to help you with at super tax day at the super down all the programs are going to be there and the schools to. You get a chance to look at everything. Police police come on out and you don't want to thank you so much for joining us today I just Adam's pain vice president financial capability. You got a way of southeast Louisiana. It meters mercantile who is our public affairs expert at Entergy New Orleans and Thelma Paris French the president CEO. A total community action eating. For those of you listed a thank you for joining us we want you to know that united way of southeast Louisiana has a blueprint for prosperity. We want to eradicate poverty in our region where strategically investing in programs and initiatives collaborations. And advocacy efforts to meet our community's greatest needs for more information you can visit us at united we seal and I don't work. You can call us area code 504. 8225540. Or you can visit us on FaceBook are on Twitter. For united way I'm Jerry Westerfield and for everyone join me live united.