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Financial Empowerment
to improve financial well-being

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Q1: Does The Cooperative Ministry provide financial assistance to pay rent, mortgage, or utilities? 

A1: Our assistance with housing expenses is limited to people who receive one-to-one financial coaching to improve their overall financial well-being. Even in coaching, financial assistance won't be available immediately. If you need emergency assistance, please call 2-1-1. Our one-to-one financial coaching service is called Financial Empowerment.

Q2: What is Financial Empowerment? 

A2: Financial empowerment means having the knowledge, skills, and confidence to make money choices that help you reach your personal and financial goals.


Q3: What is the difference between Financial Empowerment and financial assistance? 

A3: Financial Empowerment is our one-to-one coaching approach to help people manage their spending and savings in a manner that supports their long-term financial well-being.  Our Financial Empowerment activities may include financial assistance depending on the person’s circumstances and goals. 

Q4: What if I already have an eviction notice or my utilities are scheduled to be disconnected? 

A4: Within our Financial Empowerment service you will not receive immediate financial assistance. If you are experiencing a financial crisis, we recommend that you seek assistance from other sources such as your utility service provider, SC United Way 2-1-1, Salvation Army, Richland Library Social Workers, Wateree Community Actions, or SC Legal.   

Q5: How long will I be involved in Financial Empowerment's coaching?

A5: Each person’s improvement plan is unique, and the time it takes to complete the plan depends on the person’s goals and commitment.  We recommend that participants allow themselves 3 to 6 months to make a measurable change in their financial circumstances. 

Q6: What if my financial health goals have nothing to do with my rent or utilities? 

A6: That’s fine! Financial Empowerment is designed to help you achieve goals that are important to you. Goals accomplished by past participants include buying a house, pre-paying funeral expenses, paying off credit cards, catching up on housing expenses, and funding a savings account. 

Q7: I submitted my application for Financial Empowerment, but I have not received a reply. 

A7: Applications are reviewed weekly, and the results are sent to each applicant via email. Check your email inbox and spam folder for a message from If you have a Gmail account, please check all the folders - many times email will go to your Update folder.

Q8: How do I submit an application if I do not have access to a computer? 

A8: You may call us at (803) 799-3853 for assistance to complete the application by telephone. Please note that due to the volume of calls that we receive, we may ask you to give us a date and time that we can call you back to complete the application.  

Q9: How long do I have to wait for an appointment after I submit my application? 

A9: Your application will be reviewed within seven business days, and we will notify you of the result via email. If your application has met our basic criteria, the notification email will tell you what documents are needed for us to schedule your appointment.  We are usually able to schedule an appointment within a week of receiving your documents. 

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To increase the economic self-sufficiency of people experiencing poverty in the Midlands through crisis assistance and sustainability programs.

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