From Hardship to Hope: Online Resource Hub

Welcome to ‘From Hardship to Hope’! This is a remote peer-led financial wellness program that seeks to help people improve their financial situation and feel more hopeful about the future. Here you’ll find links to the resources discussed in group sessions, as well as our program calendar.

Program Calendar – August, 2022

To see the full program calendar, click here.


From Hardship to Hope Tools 

This tool will allow you to discover the meaning of financial wellness by addressing financial stressors as well as your own goals and priorities. The tool is divided into 10 sections with different sets of questions. The sections include:

My Income & Ability to Meet my Needs

Tax Credits

Housing and Utilities 

Food Security & Health

And more

To access the Financial Wellness Self-Assessment, please go here.

After you identify what financial wellness means to you, you’ll be able to create an action plan with this tool. This tool will allow you to identify your goals and figure out a plan to achieve them.

The tool is divided into the following sections:

Life Dream/Goal – helps you identify what truly matters to you

Financial Wellness Goal – allows you to achieve your life goal.

My Agency – helps you identify your assets and capital

Financial Wellness Barriers – enables you to identify the obstacles that may get in your way

My Pathways – helps you identify the services and supports that are best for you

Financial Wellness Action Steps – allows you to identify specific actions that you can take

To access the Financial Wellness Action Plan, please go here.

This tool consolidates different financial resources intending to provide you with some assistance in accessing the resources that you need. The navigator is composed of different categories, each with a list of resources.

The categories included are:

Financial Counseling – this category provides financial hope by providing guidance, information, tools, and education through different resources

Taxes – this category includes resources that provide tax credits and assistance for low- and middle-income individuals and families

Employment – this category has resources that facilitate getting jobs

Social Security – this category has resources that provide additional financial benefits

SSA Work Incentives – the resources in this category provide benefits and encourage employment

Health – the resources in this category provide benefits and additional aid for individuals with disabilities

Child Care – the resources in this category provide financial support, agencies and starting points, and affordable and accessible education

Food Insecurity – the resources in this category provide short- and long-term solutions through different programs

Housing – the resources in this category include financial, legal, and counseling assistance

Utilities – this category provides different assistance programs that help pay for utilities

Transportation – the resources in this category include transportation programs, discounts, and services

Debt Management/Assistance – this category aims to provide aid and counseling to manage and avoid debts

Savings & Assets – this category offers programs and incentives that promote and facilitate saving money

To access the Navigator tool, please go here.

Meet the Team

Oscar Jimenez-Solomon, Program Director 

Oscar is a mental health and social policy researcher committed to disrupting social and economic inequalities. He has been working for the past 15 years to develop new ways of supporting people to achieve financial and emotional wellness. His passion for this work is grounded in his personal experience with poverty and recovery. 

Contact Information: oscar.jimenez-solomon@nyspi.columbia.edu; 347-978-3010

photo credentials: Sean Sime

Sean Brennan, Peer Facilitator

Sean is a longtime LGBTQ rights and Food Justice advocate and after being late life diagnosed with manic depression has used his lived experience to advance greater empathy and understanding as a Mental Health Peer Advocate. He is also the Founder and Executive Director of Brain Food Garden Project.

Contact Information: sbrennan@balticstreet.org718-788-6100, ext. 100 

Laurie Vite, Peer Facilitator

Laurie is a Certified Peer Specialist for Baltic Street AEH. She is the Director of the Resource and Wellness Center in Sunset Park Brooklyn. As Peer Facilitator for the ‘From Hardship to Hope’ program, she hopes to spread the message that we are not alone.

Contact Information: lvite@balticstreet.org718-788-6100, ext. 100

Wade Cook, Peer Facilitator 

Wade is a Peer Facilitator and Mindfulness Coach with a background in Art Education, HIV Advocacy, and Addiction. As a sober man in recovery with mental health challenges, his focus is to bring tools, awareness, and a sense of groundedness to people on a path of transformation. 

Contact Information: Arthur.Cook@nyspi.columbia.edu 

 

Shima Sadaghiyani, Study Staff

Contact Information:  shima.sadaghiyani@nyspi.columbia.edu; 917-397-3251 

 

Ryan Primrose, Study Staff

Contact Information: ryan.primrose@nyspi.columbia.edu; 914-810-6331

 

Kiana Dash, Study Staff

Contact Information: kiana.dash@nyspi.columbia.edu; 614-664-7991

 

Martha Cardenas-Reyes, Study Staff 

Contact Information: martha.cardenas-reyes@nyspi.columbia.edu; 210-580-6957

 

Sharen Rivas, Study Staff 

Contact Information: Sharen.Rivas@nyspi.columbia.edu

 

Jovan Jande, Study Staff

Contact Information: jsj2139@cumc.columbia.edu