Sean and Cami wanted to buy a home, but they didn’t know where to start. They didn’t know anything about their credit, how much they needed for a downpayment, or what their budget should be. But with the homebuyer education courses from Community Action Services and Food Bank, they learned everything they needed to know before finding the right home.

Community Action Services is more than a food bank: we’re an educator. We offer a variety of free or low-cost education classes and more, so you can learn about how to help yourself and others. With homebuyer education courses, financial learning classes, Bridges Out of Poverty workshops, community gardens, and the startup kitchen, there’s a community education course for everyone.

Homebuyer Education

Buying a home is hard, especially if it’s your first time. The number of first-time homebuyers in the U.S. has been decreasing over the past several years. In 2010, half of homebuyers were first-timers; in 2016, that number decreased to 35 percent. And in Utah and the Mountain West, it’s even lower, at 21 percent in 2015. Some of the barriers for first-time homebuyers include understanding credit, learning about down payments, figuring out what they can afford, and learning how to fill out a lot of legal documents. Community Action Services hosts free classes for people interested in buying a home.

In Pre-Purchase Counseling, you’ll learn how to

  • analyze your financial and credit statuses
  • learn about down payment assistance programs
  • form an action plan to become a homeowner

In the Homebuyer Education Class, you’ll learn about

  • budget and money management
  • credit building and debt elimination
  • working with realtors, lenders, and other service providers
  • mortgage products and financing
  • loan and down payment programs
  • loan settlement documents
  • post-purchase home maintenance

There’s so much to learn when buying a home. Community Action Services has the right, free courses for homebuyers.

Bridges Out of Poverty

Are you interested in helping end the cycle of poverty in your community, but you don’t know where to start? Bridges Out of Poverty is the program for you. In these free workshops, you’ll learn

  • definitions of poverty
  • how poverty affects families
  • how to help people bridge the gap from poverty to a more sustainable lifestyle

These free workshops will help you if you want to learn more about poverty or volunteer with any organization that works with people living in poverty.

Financial Learning Center

Budgeting doesn’t come easy for everyone. Managing bank accounts, debt, bills, credit scores and saving can be overwhelming. Our free Financial Learning Center has one-on-one counseling to help people understand and take control of their finances. It teaches

  • budgeting skills
  • debt management
  • credit score building
  • benefits of saving

The Financial Learning Center has trained coaches ready to help. Financial Management Classes are also offered throughout the year. Watch for posts on our website. 

Community Gardens

Gardening is a fun activity that provides healthy food for families; studies show that people who garden enjoy healthier diets. Unfortunately, not everyone has space or equipment for a garden. Community Action Services has the solution. We have four community gardens with plots available to rent around Provo. For $20, gardeners get a plot and access to water. Renters must weed, water and maintain their own space. At the end of the growing season, Community Action Services will refund $15 with the completion of the gardening agreement. Enjoy fresher, healthier food, all for a low price and hours of enjoyment.

Startup Kitchen

Do you have a food service business idea but no commercial kitchen? Community Action Services has a startup kitchen available for small-business owners to use at a reduced fee until they can afford their own space. There’s room for food prep and cooking, but it’s not a restaurant—there’s no seating. Food can be made in the kitchen and taken to another location or picked up for take-out. Renters must meet all health and safety regulations, and have liability insurance, a business license, and tax ID number. The idea of the kitchen is to help small businesses grow so owners can afford to move out on their own.

Community Action Services offers much more than a simple food bank for the community. Its free or low-cost programs—homebuyer education courses, financial learning classes, Bridges Out of Poverty workshops, community gardens, and startup kitchen—empower community members to better their lives and help others. If you’re interested in learning more, contact Community Action Services and Food Bank.