KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A project that was first discussed in 2007 came to fruition on Saturday.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at WeDevelopment Federal Credit Union, located at 31st and Prospect in Kansas City, Missouri.
Dozens of community members and local leaders celebrated the new credit union which aims to help KC’s most financially challenged areas.
“I think it shows persistence, you don’t change the world all at once, sometimes these things are tough,” said KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas.
Gwendolyn Washington, CEO of WeDevelopment, told KSHB 41 that the credit union will help keep people out of predatory lending companies, especially since the poverty rate near the location is around 30. %.
“When you have people on fixed incomes or who don’t make a lot of money, their emergencies might just be a $500 loan, that’s why they go to payday loans, but when they can go to a financial institution like WeDevelopment and they can take out a $500 loan with less than 20% interest, you know that’s where they need to come,” Washington said.
With priorities set on expanding access to banking services while educating members on how best to manage their finances, Mayor Lucas said the credit union is just the start of a better community. and safer.
“You see more businesses filling that intersection,” he said. “I think what you’re going to see is more people going back to the core of our city, more people developing, and in the long run a place that in 10 to 15 years looks very different. Having a lot more stores, having a lot more business and a lot less crime.”
There is still work to be done, but the credit union is scheduled to open to the community on December 5.