After many years of working with a low- and moderate-income membership, we realized that, while providing access to affordable financial services is crucial for setting families upon the path towards prosperity, it is not enough. There are often other obstacles that keep working families poor.
For this reason Brooklyn Coop incorporated a 501(c)3 affiliate in 2007 in order to provide service to families that complement the credit union’s retail financial services. Grow Brooklyn’s mission is to enable families to grow and preserve their assets, thereby securing their economic future.
Since its founding, Grow Brooklyn has thrived. It offers three primary services.
First, Grow Brooklyn offers free tax preparation for individuals and families through the VITA program. Currently it is one of Kings County’s largest tax preparers and in the top 5% of all VITA sites in the country. In 2016 we operated 7 locations, prepared 5,000 tax returns, and returned about $7 million in refunds to Central Brooklyn.
Second, Grow Brooklyn is also a HUD-approved housing counseling agency offering free foreclosure prevention counseling and homeownership counseling as well as workshops for first-time buyers.
Last, Grow Brooklyn offers legal services for foreclosure defense and for end-of-life planning and estate administration.