The Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN) is pleased to announce a continued collaboration with Wells Fargo, reinforcing the commitment of both to healthy, safe, and affordable housing and financial wellness and stability of military families.
MFAN’s work focuses on the modern military family and clearly understanding the support needs of a group that is statistically more diverse than the national workforce. According to the most recent Department of Defense demographics on race, more than 30% of active duty service members are people of color. Whether in housing or financial health, there is a disproportionate impact on people of color when compared with their civilian workforce counterparts.
Funding from Wells Fargo will support the Military Family Financial Readiness Coalition and the Military Housing Roundtable, two coalitions convened and led by MFAN in response to critical areas of need identified by MFAN’s biennial military family support programming surveys.
In the most recent survey, more than a quarter of currently serving military family respondents (27.4%) reported having less than $500 in emergency savings, or no emergency fund at all, and nearly a quarter of respondents (23.5%) had no practical or viable plan of action in a financial emergency. The goal of the Military Family Financial Readiness Coalition (MFFRC), which has more than 50 participating organizations nationwide, is to build collaboration and open lines of communication among those who work to support military family financial readiness.
“We recognize that service in the military brings with it unique financial needs and challenges, and the pandemic has amplified the hardships that many military families and veterans face every day, including a lack of emergency savings and food insecurity,” said Darlene Goins, senior vice president and head of financial health philanthropy with the Wells Fargo Foundation. “MFAN’s survey findings underscore the importance of this coalition and the efforts of all its members to support the financial well-being and readiness of our military families.”
Four MFAN surveys shed light on housing issues for military families, and the limitations military families have when finding safe, affordable, and available housing. The housing roundtable will convene housing leaders and advocates and build on best practices to develop and recommend policy and programmatic solutions.
“Having a safe and affordable place to call home is an essential pathway for wellness, dignity, and economic opportunity,” said Eileen Fitzgerald, head of housing affordability philanthropy with the Wells Fargo Foundation. “Lack of affordable homes puts millions at the edge of crisis. Wells Fargo is committed to the importance of home for everyone in our nation, especially military families who have sacrificed so much, and we are proud to support Military Family Advisory Network’s development of sustainable housing solutions.”
Both coalitions share the following goals: data-driven collaboration with key partners across government, public, and private sectors to raise awareness of the targeted issue, the identification of resources that are currently available to meet immediate needs, and the development of programs that will provide sustainable solutions in the future. In addition, coalition efforts yield actionable information that educates and informs policymakers.
“MFAN and Wells Fargo share the commitment to utilizing data and collaboration to address emerging challenges. There is no benefit for military families when organizations reinvent the wheel or duplicate efforts—these coalitions keep us focused on solutions and constantly learning, and that is what military families are counting on,” said Shannon Razsadin, president and executive director of MFAN.
The Military Family Advisory Network is the authentic voice of the modern military family and the bridge that connects military families to the resources, people, and information they depend on to successfully navigate all phases of military life. To learn more about MFAN, visit www.militaryfamilyadvisorynetwork.org.