Stop the Debt Trap!

One of the areas of work that I’m most proud of is the work that I’ve been a part of is my work with CitySquare and our engagement with the Anti-Poverty Coalition of Greater Dallas in changing the conversation regarding payday and auto title lending. There were those who considered this work futile but it resulted in one of the toughest city ordinances regulating the industry, an ordinance that has been adopted by more than 30 cities throughout Texas. It is also work that has helped garner national attention, as members of the APC have testified before the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which is even as we speak, collecting testimony throughout the country on the negative impacts of this pernicious industry on families throughout the country.

You don’t have to have an actual experience with payday lending, positive or negative to give testimony. Perhaps they’re choking out other forms of economic development in your neighborhood. Maybe there’s crime associated with the properties. Maybe some are operating in violation of existing ordinances. Either way, we encourage you to add your voice to the chorus of those calling for federal regulation of an industry that sucks the life out of whole communities.

And, just in case you’re not sure what a payday or auto title loan is, here’s a video that I’m certain will be helpful…

CitySquare’s TRAC

From time to time, I want to highlight programs at CitySquare. Of course because I work there, but more than that, because the people that work there do absolutely amazing work!

One such program is Transition Resource Action Center or TRAC. It officially became a part of CitySquare’s family of programs shortly after my arrival in 2008 and has been one of our most effective and impactful resources, for kids who are aging out of foster care.

Here’s more…

“TRAC is the transition center for a 19 county area that includes Dallas and Tarrant County,” said Madeline Reedy, program director of TRAC. “There are 17 transition centers around Texas, but we are the only one in this region. With the support of CitySquare’s programs and services, we are a one-stop shop for youth to come and get the services they need to help them find their footing as they become an adult.”TRAC provides assistance to approximately 800 young people every year. TRAC’s programs include:

  • Life Skills Training – a 36-hour, experiential training program on six core elements for youths that are still in the foster care system
  • Case Management – coaching for ages 17½-21 as they transition out of foster care
  • Housing Programs
    • Short-term rental assistance
    • Transitional housing for homeless youths
    • Permanent housing for homeless disabled youths
  • Workforce Training – including assistance with job search and job retention
  • Crisis Intervention

“At TRAC, we use a coaching philosophy,” said Reedy. “We’re not caseworkers. A caseworker’s job is to manage tasks: to make sure the youth is doing what they are supposed to be doing. A coach’s job is to see where they are today and where they want to be in the future – and help them achieve their goals. That’s really what we’re hoping to do, to help coach youth to become successful in the future.”

“TRAC is the transition center for a 19 county area that includes Dallas and Tarrant County,” said Madeline Reedy, program director of TRAC. “There are 17 transition centers around Texas, but we are the only one in this region. With the support of CitySquare’s programs and services, we are a one-stop shop for youth to come and get the services they need to help them find their footing as they become an adult.”TRAC provides assistance to approximately 800 young people every year. TRAC’s programs include:

  • Life Skills Training – a 36-hour, experiential training program on six core elements for youths that are still in the foster care system
  • Case Management – coaching for ages 17½-21 as they transition out of foster care
  • Housing Programs
    • Short-term rental assistance
    • Transitional housing for homeless youths
    • Permanent housing for homeless disabled youths
  • Workforce Training – including assistance with job search and job retention
  • Crisis Intervention

“At TRAC, we use a coaching philosophy,” said Reedy. “We’re not caseworkers. A caseworker’s job is to manage tasks: to make sure the youth is doing what they are supposed to be doing. A coach’s job is to see where they are today and where they want to be in the future – and help them achieve their goals. That’s really what we’re hoping to do, to help coach youth to become successful in the future.”

“TRAC is the transition center for a 19 county area that includes Dallas and Tarrant County,” said Madeline Reedy, program director of TRAC. “There are 17 transition centers around Texas, but we are the only one in this region. With the support of CitySquare’s programs and services, we are a one-stop shop for youth to come and get the services they need to help them find their footing as they become an adult.”TRAC provides assistance to approximately 800 young people every year. TRAC’s programs include:

  • Life Skills Training – a 36-hour, experiential training program on six core elements for youths that are still in the foster care system
  • Case Management – coaching for ages 17½-21 as they transition out of foster care
  • Housing Programs
    • Short-term rental assistance
    • Transitional housing for homeless youths
    • Permanent housing for homeless disabled youths
  • Workforce Training – including assistance with job search and job retention
  • Crisis Intervention

“At TRAC, we use a coaching philosophy,” said Reedy. “We’re not caseworkers. A caseworker’s job is to manage tasks: to make sure the youth is doing what they are supposed to be doing. A coach’s job is to see where they are today and where they want to be in the future – and help them achieve their goals. That’s really what we’re hoping to do, to help coach youth to become successful in the future.”

Again, TRAC is one of our most amazing programs, with amazing caring people. Find out more about TRAC and its program director Madeline Reedy here and here