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Building Wealth and Health Network

Three people wearing Building Wealth and Health Network shirts in the park making peace signs with their hands

The Building Wealth and Health Network (Network) is a trauma-informed, healing-centered financial empowerment program, that combines emotional and peer support to promote self-efficacy and resilience. 

The Network focuses on building families' intergenerational wealth and health by centering individual and collective healing, creating an environment of peer support, and providing financial empowerment education. By addressing the associations between trauma and financial health, the Network uniquely addresses the shortfall of public assistance programs through supporting the power of individuals and families to break the cycle of deep poverty. Its goal is to shift the discourse and policies surrounding public assistance programs so all people have the opportunity to flourish.

Human services, especially SNAP and TANF, have lost sight of human potential and instead put heavy emphasis on work participation rates and compliance. These services are often counterproductive because they spend extensive time making sure participants are compliant with forms and protocol instead of focusing their resources on directly addressing what participants need most: healing, support, solidarity, and financial empowerment. The Network brings the focus back to the power of individual and collective healing with its emphasis on peer support.

The Network does this through three main components.

  1. Financial Literacy and S.E.L.F Empowerment Curriculum 
  2. Financial Incentives
  3. Coaching and Peer Support

Building Wealth and Health Network classes have been taught in person throughout Philadelphia since 2014. In 2020, classes transitioned online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has allowed for the expansion of the Network outside of Philadelphia to new partners. The entire Network curriculum can be run through a combination of synchronous online class meetings on Zoom run by Network coaches and a self-paced online curriculum through cloud-based learning platform TalentLMS. When classes can safely return to in-person instruction, both instruction methods will be available based on site.

    The Network program has proven effective in helping its members heal from adversity, feel less isolated, and improve economic security. It has also had strong positive impact on food insecurity, employment, mental and physical health. Learn more about the impact and outcomes of the Network.

    The Network has engaged a wide range of members with its financial self empowerment curriculum, including:

    • TANF recipients
    • Members of all different racial and ethnic backgrounds
    • Parents and caregivers of children under 18
    • Residents of Philadelphia and South Central Pennsylvania
    • Members aged 18+
    • Teen members aged 16-24

    Once members complete the educational courses as part of the Network, they are invited to join the Network Advisory Council for continued engagement opportunities and peer support.

    What We Do

    Learn More About the Network