In this current economic climate, the City of Madison is working on many initiatives to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic, including supporting Madison residents as they are experiencing financial instability and crisis.

I’m pleased to announce the launch of a free Financial Resource Hotline to help residents navigate financial issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, a partnership with national nonprofit organization the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund).

Financial Navigators are available at no cost to provide guidance, over the phone, to help residents access available programs and services to manage income loss and other financial concerns they may be experiencing. With one-on-one discussions, they will help to address personal financial issues, identify immediate steps to manage expenses and maximize income, and make referrals to other services such as bill paying assistance, government benefits and other programs that may come from future stimulus packages.

To access the Hotline, you can visit: www.cityofmadison.com/financialhotline and fill out a short interest form, or you can call (608) 315-5151 Mondays through Fridays from 11 am - 7 pm or Saturdays, 12 pm - 5 pm to sign up. You will be contacted within 48 hours by a Financial Navigator to begin your personal session. Call back hours are Mondays through Fridays 9 am – 6 pm. Hotline sessions will last about 30 minutes and address your most pressing needs. You are invited to sign up for as many sessions as you like, but there is no guarantee you will be matched with the same Financial Navigator.

Organizations across Madison can also refer clients directly to the Hotline by sharing the link or helping them fill out the interest form. Financial navigation sessions are available directly in English, Hmong, and Spanish, with ASL and other languages available through the City’s interpretation services.

In this environment where stress is high and keeping track of all available resources is difficult at best, being able to provide a comprehensive and helpful resource like the Financial Navigators program is invaluable. I am grateful that we were able to leverage our partnership with the CFE Fund to provide this service. The City of Madison is among the first cohort of cities across the U.S. selected in May of 2020 to participate in CFE fund’s Financial Navigators program. CFE provides, training, technical assistance and operating funds to support the hotline for at least one year. I’d also like to thank the Community Development Division and Madison Public Library staff who are working together to organize and staff this hotline.

This program will be a key part of our emergency response and aligns with our citywide goal to improve the overall financial health and resilience of our residents.

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Mayor's Office and a link back to the original post.