Asset Building Program Helps Family Get Back on Their Feet

Les and Christy Payton followed their dream and started a produce business, but because they had little experience, the company failed. They lost everything and became homeless. 

Then the Paytons discovered the Lower Columbia Community Action Program  (LCCAP) in Longview, WA.   It offered an array of asset building services.

Les and Christy attended a free eleven-week Money Smart course, learned financial management skills and developed a savings plan. They also opened an Individual Development Account (IDA), where savings are matched 2 to 1. Their $2,000 became $6,000, which they used to restart their business.  They opened a produce stand in the summer of 2009, working with local farmers and community gardens to market fresh produce.

LCCAP’s asset building services were expanded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds into its Financial Independence Center, which continues to support the Paytons.  LCCAP Executive Director Ilona Kerby asserts, “We are in the business of helping people succeed in realizing a better life for themselves and their families.  Their success is our success.”