WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Whether tightening your budget or planning for the future, it never hurts to have help.

“We’re here to assist the clients with trying to make their money stretch a little further- especially with rising gas and food prices,” Phyllis Caldwell-George, the President and CEO of Financial Pathways of the Piedmont, says.

Financial Pathways of the Piedmont wants to help. The center in Winston-Salem tries to tackle issues impacting its neighbors in the day-to-day. “When someone comes into our office they may be dealing with any financial stress. It could be that they have recently become unemployed. It could be that they are also working on improving their financial well-being by building assets. We can also assist them with that,” Caldwell-George says.

Many clients have their sights set on homeownership. Counselors at the agency’s “Center of Homeownership” help individuals and families navigate the hot housing market with an action plan.

“That action plan is designed so they can overcome any barriers to home ownership such as credit, debt and now, with the rising housing prices, we’re also able to provide down payment assistance,” Caldwell-George says.

Nearly 2000 clients have gotten the keys to their own homes. It’s an accomplishment that pays off in the future, too.

They also help pay for education, too. Money from the Winston-Salem Foundation supports the center’s work to reduce student debt. “We have been able to receive funds to hire a person that will act as a college navigator and also be able to provide community education around student loans, especially now with the public service loan forgiveness – helping clients actually apply for that. And also, really understanding the impact of student loan debt,” Caldwell-George says.

Counselors and coaches are there for people who need direct money management. Their “Representative Payee Program” allows participants to get help and remain independent.

Financial Pathways of the Piedmont has been serving people for more than 50 years. Fiscal challenges may change through the years, but clients can count on constant support and education.

“We really care about the people we serve,” Caldwell-George said. “We believe everyone deserves to be financially well.”