STEP assists junior active duty enlisted members and recently discharged enlisted veterans and their families in Southern California facing financial crisis achieve long term financial self-sufficiency through counseling, education, and financial grants.
Success StoryImagine you are a military family transferred to San Diego, one of the most expensive cities in the United States. Your salary for a family of four is considered below the HUD low-income level. As you live paycheck to paycheck, your spouse weighs going back to work versus childcare costs, and one major car repair could put your finances in serious trouble. This is not an abnormal scenario for the 95,000 junior enlisted services members (E1-E6) and their families in Southern California. Per the Blue Star Families 2016 Military Family Lifestyle Survey, 51% of military families identified spouse under/unemployment as a top obstacle to financial security and 66% cannot obtain reliable childcare. Roughly 60% are living on a single, low-income salary as they try to survive in a high-cost living environment. STEP's number one goal is to ensure that every military and veteran family that comes through our doors does not experience a loss of a basic need, like housing or food, and that they become financially self-sufficient. We developed our Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA) program to accomplish this goal. Our EFA program, which works with 75-100 families a month, focuses on crisis avoidance while assuring each families' basic needs are retained during their crisis as we bridge them to financial self-sufficiency. We are proud to say that we are 100% effective at stopping the loss for qualified families.