Money Management: How We Help

The Bailey family standing in front of their new home.

Our Free Financial Education, Homebuyer Education & Public Benefits Services programs are for low-income clients seeking help with financial needs. Services include:

  • Guidance applying for public benefits such as Medicaid, SNAP and TANF
  • Scholarship cards for buying up to 60 pounds of food semimonthly
  • Financial management counseling and classes
  • Homeownership counseling and classes

Jenny Lopez-Martinez, ESGH’s Financial Coaching and Education Program Coordinator, shares a firsthand view of how these programs help individuals and families reach their financial goals.

Q: What typically brings clients to your financial and homebuyer offices?

Jenny Lopez-Martinez: Clients frequently come in asking for financial assistance. At the initial appointment, they learn through an overview of our coaching program to focus not just on getting assistance but on longer-term financial goals and stability. We’ve found over the years that clients who participate in our financial coaching program — with or without receiving extra assistance — increase their savings and become more financially stable.

Q: What principles do you emphasize?

Jenny Lopez-Martinez: Especially if a client has a history of financial struggles, we want them to know it’s never too late to start budgeting, saving and investing. We encourage them to begin immediately on making healthy financial decisions, like creating a budget and savings plan and arranging for a coach to monitor their progress.

Q: What about preparing for home ownership?

Jenny Lopez-Martinez: For families whose goals include homebuying, we encourage them to start a credit-monitoring plan alongside their budgeting and savings plans. Our housing counselors show clients how that works: understanding debt-to-income ratios; improving credit scores; reducing, and eventually eliminating, debt.

Q: Can you share a story of how all this played out for one of your client families?

Jenny Lopez-Martinez: Mr. and Mrs. Randall started attending our financial and homebuyer’s education classes when their family savings had been depleted by pandemic challenges. Mr. Randall was looking for a job and meeting many closed doors, and plans to buy their first home seemed indefinitely postponed. Over the past year, they have worked hard on their budget and spending plans, and now their savings are growing again.

Mr. Randall has now found work at an Auto Action, and the family recently moved to a new rental home with lower monthly payments. Their current goals are to apply for a car loan through On the Road Lending and continue growing their savings so they can purchase a home next year. Planning and support are great helps for relieving financial stress!

- Katherine Stewarts, BridgingApps, Digital Content Writer, Easter Seals Greater Houston

Jenny Lopez-Martinez, Financial Coaching and Education, Program Coordinator, Easter Seals Greater Houston



Thank you to our partners, Capital One, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Freddie Mac, The George Foundation, Houston Methodist Hospital, Montgomery County Community Development, State Farm Insurance, Texas Financial Education Endowment, Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation, Union Home Mortgage Foundation and United Way of Greater Houston, for supporting our Finance and Housing Resources.