Banking bus makes shelter stop

Oct. 10, 2013 @ 05:21 PM

The Fifth Third mobile banking bus made a stop at the Union County Community Shelter Wednesday afternoon. 

The bus offered credit counseling and set up bank accounts for members of the community who are unable to reach a brick-and-mortar facility. 

The bus is fully equipped with computers that are used for credit counseling, setting up accounts, job searches or computer classes.

In addition, Union County Crisis Assistance Ministry, Community Link, Community Health Services, Carolinas Care, Head Start, Turning Point and HealthQuest came to offer support to the community. 

Melissa McKewon, a senior case manager at Union County Community Shelter, said that by the end of 2014 most benefits will not be mailed in paper check form. So they are working to open bank accounts for people with challenged bank histories. 

“Most of our clients do not have vehicles and cannot walk to banks,” McKewon said. She said this was helpful because they can bank online at the local library or a place with internet access. 

She said she hopes to continue the partnership with Fifth Third Bank. 

They decided to expand the mobile bank’s event to include community health. People were able to have their blood sugar checked and other maintenance. In addition, 28 people took HIV tests and about 50 people received their flu shot. 

Tonya Bruce, community development officer with Fifth Third Bank, said they want to expand their reach in Union County. They like to take the bus to low-income areas where they cannot traditionally reach people. 

The credit counseling helps people, she said. A lot of people walk away knowing how to get delinquent reports off of their credit history, how to build a better credit score and how to start saving and managing a budget. About 38 people had credit counseling Wednesday. 

“I think everyone was pretty satisfied,” McKewon said. She said many people walked away saying their credit score was not as bad as they thought it would be or that they knew how to fix it or felt they could start saving to buy a house.