Welcome to Huntington Bank, Star Neighborhood Branches

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 01/27/2008 - 23:29.

Huntington Bank in East Cleveland

Star Neighborhood Development has assembled a community of outstanding, localized resources interested in historic preservation and economic development in our neighborhoods of Cleveland and East Cleveland.  For financial services, Huntington mortgage banker Rick Williamson and Personal Banker Dave Meredith, and their many associates at the Fairmount Circle and University Circle branches, have supported the renovation of 1894 Roxbury and are enthusiastic to provide additional banking services throughout the surrounding neighborhoods.

Huntington Bank East Cleveland Pan REALNEO Logo

Showing personal commitment to this project, Dave and Rick have been to 1894 Roxbury numerous times throughout the project. On their most recent visit, they brought the Huntington Fairmount Branch along, to our still unheated dining room in East Cleveland, for an informal checking account registration party (today's REALNEO Logo - full sized image here) for the crew that had worked on the house and friends who wanted to improve their bankability. In an hour, Dave and Fairmount Branch Customer Service Team Leader Monique Lumpkin took down the information necessary for a half dozen new accounts, all of which were approved, open for business and in the hands of the new customers a few hours later.

Huntington Bank at Hot Sauce Williams BBQ

We even had time to move the branch over to Superior and Lakeview, at Hot Sauce Williams, where day manager Andrew wanted to open an account but couldn't leave work. Andrew got his account and the folks back at the Fairmount branch got Hot Sauce treats... the way banking and life in NEO should be, and is, in the Star Neighborhood.

Huntington Bank at Hot Sauce Williams BBQ

I saw Drew today, a bit over a week later, hanging out at Hot Sauce, on his day off. I asked him what was up and he said he was just over at the bank adding money to that account I helped him set up. I asked him if he got his ATM card and he said for sure. He clearly likes having a bank account, but he isn't sure what it can do for him... this does not give him a financial plan for his future.

And, like all the other folks Huntington set up with accounts that day, Drew is concerned about having his money in the bank. Lots of these folks have financial troubles and have had money withheld from their paychecks and pulled out of bank accounts without notice before. Once in debt, folks often go underground, as they become unemployable and unbankable, as is the case with this crew.

I suggested they keep a bank account open with at least a few $100 available on the ATM, for convenience, and figure out how to get out of debt.  Assistance addressing such financial mismanagement issues would help move many good, hard working people from underground financial hell to the mainstream. Our friends at Huntington did what they may - any suggestions for other next steps?

Huntington helped 8 or 9 financially struggling folks become new banking customers and take important steps into the economic mainstream, but they did so knowing many of these new customers have failed with banking in the past and will fail Huntington now. Nonetheless, Huntington seems pleased to take this risk and offer their services to at risk folks, in places and situations viewed as high-risk, and offer to do more so in the future in my neighborhood. And, they are pleased to do so in innovative and fun ways, like at my home or over the counter at a Bar BQ shack in my 'hood, and have fun being part of my community in doing it. If that sounds like your kind of banking, stop by the Star Neighborhood Branch of Huntington next time we're open for business, this Fat Tuesday, February 5th, or contact Dave Meredith at Huntington Fairmount... tell him the Star Neighborhood Branch sent you.

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WECO Fund

There should be guidance at Weco Fund. They can help individuals locate financial literacy courses, offer Microenterprise Loans and Individual Development Accounts for such things as buying a home or getting money for college. My son took the financial planning program and learned all about banking, borrowing, interest rates, late fees, mortgages, etc. He also earned a small amount to get him off to college – they matched what he saved two to one. I recommend these folks.

WECO Fund -Mitchell Paul's comments deleted by NEOMG

See above 2008 story - Mitchell Paul posted this recent comment on FB:  

"In 2012 the Cleveland united way gave 2 grants to WECO fund a charity allegedly promoting financial acumen totalling 157,000$. A Mrs Snyder from united way confirmed the grants to me...and she informed me that although they usually follow up their grants they didn't because weco had closed.

Sadly WECO also closed in 2012. The 990 report of WECO for 2012 shows a total income for 2012 of 112,000$
Not being a sophisticated financial advisor like the director Elisabeth Plax(on Armin Budish TV show golden opportunities (ooh how sweet it is) I couldn't explain the discrepancy nor would she!
Maybe the volunteer executive being solicited here might be able.
Nobody from united way has taken any interest in this fraud.
Other incomes to weco would only add to the theft.
I fear a Madoff like scheme with seniors as victims.
Let's see how fast this is deleted!!!"

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From Mitchell Paul: weco fund was a former cleveland microlender[nonprofit ein #34-1439659 if you wish to look up the public 990 irs forms every charity submits]that closed mid 2012. Spread the gospel of Wealth Education and financial literacy. The charismatic and brilliant PHD certified financial planner has hundreds of millions of assets in her trusts and investments according to her website. Elisabeth Plax also has Armond and Amy Budish investments according to the New York times also ms Plax is frequently on Armond Budishs tv show Golden Opportunities[oppurtunities to defraud the elderly i am afraid]. Elisabeth Plax should be able with such great credentials be to answer the following problem regarding the stolen 45,000$ she was resposible for as the president of weco funds board of trustees. United Way gave weco fund two grants totalling over 157,000$ in 2012. ....that same year weco fund claimed 112,000$ in income from grants!!!!! Elisabeth Plax has not denied to me that she has stolen these funds! Now it gets even more interesting as one might suspect United Way might be concerned about the missing monies...they knew about. from Bill Kitson ceo of united way"i do remember this situation,we stopped funding immediatly upon my understanding there was a problem with the agency. While it is fair to ask what happened to the money,it is unlikely we will ever find out" That is assured if no one looks ...and the Plain Dealer and other news organizations will NOT LOOK. United Way also failed to report the thefts. United Way claims to carefully track the grants they make to make sure they are properly spent...an obvious lie. Also a huge amount of bad loans were made....probably made with no intention of repayment to coconspiritors.Please some real journalist look at this huge fiasco being hushed up to prevent embarassment and prosecution of these powerful theives!!

The latest 990 report from United Way if filed yet(it's on website, not yet on guidestar) in section 6 checks no if there was a significant diversion of assets... Monies were stolen. Michael HEADON has not responded to email... Or Bill Kitson who has admitted the diversion... Why not call it theft