Global economic recovery in the aftermath of the Great Recession has not been experienced equally: while the share of wealth owned by the richest 3% has grown, the share owned by the poorest 90% continues to decline, as reported by Oxfam in 2016. This wealth divide disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minority communities.
This book underscores the importance of financial capability and asset building (FCAB) practice, policy and research during a period when vulnerable populations face increasingly difficult economic and financial realities. At the same time, retrenchment and privatization of government-sponsored social services have eroded the safety net available for families experiencing poverty or near-poverty conditions. The proliferation of products and services available from both formal and informal financial institutions highlights the need to promote FCAB to avoid and/or recover from financial difficulties, crises and poverty. The contributors to this volume disseminate findings from interventions designed to increase financial knowledge, financial management and financial access across several vulnerable populations, including immigrant communities. Further, they demonstrate the need for culturally sensitive FCAB service delivery, considering opportunities and barriers posed by past and current life situations, experiences and environments experienced by different populations. The book is aimed at policymakers, researchers and practitioners who assist financially vulnerable people. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Community Practice.