Community Savings Center
Bethel’s Community Savings Center held its grand opening on May 30, 2006 with a keynote address by then Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. At the time, it was the first of its kind in Illinois and one of only a few in the country.
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans collaborated with Bethel New Life Inc. and Park National Bank to create the Community Savings Center located at 310 N. Pulaski Road in Chicago. The Center (which opened in January 2006) brings together financial education, accessible and affordable financial products, and a network of resources under one roof in order to help low-income working individuals achieve financial security. In 2010, Park National Bank’s assets were purchased by U.S. Bank, who has been Bethel’s partner in the Community Savings Center since.
Bethel’s community asset building staff are housed in the Community Savings Center along with U.S. Bank staff. This arrangement allows for West Side residents to receive the education and support that they need to access quality financial products and services, and to become bank customers. Helping people move from being unbanked and utilizing high cost and risky financial services from Pay Day Loan and other non-financial institution providers is key to establishing credit and building assets.
The Community Savings Center offers a full service U.S. Bank branch with the entire array of financial services and products, combined with the financial literacy and financial counseling know-how of Bethel staff. The Community Savings Center offers one of the very few bank branches in West Garfield Park and is conveniently located immediately adjacent to the Pulaski Road Green Line L-stop.
In future months, Bethel and U.S. Bank will be discussing ways to extend the Community Savings Center to have even greater community impact.