Contact St. Christopher House
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Financial Empowerment and Problem Solving

We can help you:

  • file tax returns
  • get a bank account 
  • get social assistance benefits if you’re eligible
  • avoid common scams and financial fraud
  • deal with debt problems
  • get the most out of your personal resources

All our services are free.  We help you make informed decisions by providing support, information, resources and training.

Call (416) 848-7980 (416) 532-4828 and ask to speak to one of the FEPS staff: 
 

   
  •  Miryam Zeballos
Ext. 315  (Training and Program Development)
  • Viji Naguleswaran

Ext. 314 (Program Worker)

  • Curtis Caldwell

 Ext. 313 (Program Worker)

    

We are located at 1033 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario  M6K 3N3.

Background


The Financial Empowerment and Problem Solving Program (FAPS) began in early 2003 as a result of several St. Christopher House anti-poverty projects.  One of these was the Parkdale Community Banking Project which helped people get access to banking services.  The Parkdale Banking Project worked with diverse low-income people and with the banking industry to develop improved banking service in the neighbourhood.  One of the results was a new bank service called Cash and Save developed with the Royal Bank Financial Group.
St. Chris is also a member of the Learn$ave consortium, led by Social and Enterprise Development Innovations (SEDI).  Learn$ave is a matched savings program for low-income participants.

In addition, St. Christopher House developed the Community Undertaking Social Policy (CUSP) project which brought policy experts to St. Chris to work with frontline staff and community members on various income policy pitfalls for the poor. One successful outcome of the CUSP project was our work in getting the federal government to notify approximately 200,000 low-income Canadian seniors of their eligibility for the Guaranteed Income Supplement.

In these and other projects, we saw the need for a multi-pronged program to address the financial issues faced by low-income people through direct service, public education, and policy analysis and advocacy.

What FEPS staff provide


FEPS is composed of a team of three who help people gain access to banking services, file tax returns, deal with debt problems, get social assistance benefits, manage their personal resources, and avoid scams or financial frauds. The FEPS team provides individualized service that can include accompaniment, referrals, and advocacy with income support programs or financial service-providers.

FEPS also provides information and assistance to colleagues in other non-profit community organizations and offers workshops for community members.� Finally, FEPS plays a role in identifying financial policy issues that adversely affect low-income people, and aims to facilitate positive change. This includes advocacy, developing new financial tools and/or proposing policy alternatives.

FEPS Goals


The goal of the St. Christopher House Financial Empowerment and Problem-Solving Program is to enhance people's ability to take control of their financial life.� We help people in immediate financial difficulty by providing information and discussing choices available, and we try to enable them to make informed longer-term financial decisions.