Topeka: Housing and Credit Counseling, Inc. (HCCI), announces Daniel Crook has been selected to manage HCCI’s HOPE Program. HOPE stands for Helping Ourselves to Prosper Economically and is funded by the United Way of Greater Topeka’s Financial Stability Impact initiative. Marilyn Stanley, HCCI’s Executive Director said, “Daniel brings a wealth of experience to HCCI and the innovative work we are doing in partnership with United Way of Greater Topeka to help families budget consistently, reduce debt and begin to save for their personal financial goals.”
Stanley said Crook’s recent employment as a lending officer for FHLBank Topeka and his former employment as a regional production manager for Equitable Mortgage in Rose Hill, Kansas and as the Executive Director of Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission in Chanute, Kansas, bring valuable insight to the work HCCI and United Way are doing to promote financial stability for all families. She said Crook received a Master’s in Business Law from Friends University, Wichita, and a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of North Texas.
Stanley said, “HCCI’s HOPE families are remarkable. They are typically working hard, sometimes at more than one job, so they are committed to finding effective ways to budget and manage their financial resources well.” Stanley said Crook will work closely with HCCI’s trained volunteer mentors who provide one-to-one support, as requested by HOPE families who are taking strategic action steps to be financially self-sufficient. She said HCCI’s HOPE Program is open to all residents of Shawnee and Jefferson Counties and involves HCCI’s HUD approved financial counseling followed by continuing mentoring for working families and individuals who want to budget consistently so they can reduce debt, build credit and save for future financial goals. Stanley said people thinking about getting a fresh start in 2018 should contact HCCI’s HOPE Program now to schedule the free counseling with optional mentoring for up to one year. She said, “Most people entering the HOPE Program have annual incomes between $33,500 and $53,500 for a family of four.
Stanley said, “Anyone looking for a highly rewarding volunteer opportunity should consider being a HOPE mentor.” She said mentors are not required to have financial management background as HCCI Counselors fill that role, but they should be good listeners and have a goal to help people help themselves. She said mentoring typically requires three to four hours per month, after initial training by HCCI, and typically involves follow-up visits with an assigned HOPE family by phone, or at HCCI’s Topeka office and at optional periodic financial literacy classes HCCI presents that are open to the general public.
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Housing and Credit Counseling, Inc. is a non-profit agency founded in 1972. HCCI provides counseling and education about budgeting, credit and credit building, debt repayment, mortgage delinquency, rental housing issues, student loan payment options, homeownership opportunities and reverse mortgages for persons age 62 and older. HCCI is approved by HUD and accredited by the Council on Accreditation. HCCI is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and is licensed and regulated in Kansas by the Office of the State Bank Commissioner (License #0000003). The Better Business Bureau of the Great Plains named HCCI as the BBB Integrity Award Winner for a four-state region in recognition of excellence in customer service. In 2017 HCCI received the first Innovative Program Award from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling for HCCI’s TOTO Program, an affordable housing project that counsels lower-income families to pre-qualify for home mortgages and gives Down Payment Assistance cash awards up to $3,350 to qualifying households purchasing a home anywhere in Kansas.