Jacksonville’s premier poverty-alleviation program received a boost from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, which awarded $200,000 to United Way of Northeast Florida to support its RealSense initiative during 2017-18.

The grant was awarded by the Fund’s trustees during their summer meeting.

RealSense provides free financial education and tax preparation services and helps low-income working families save money and build assets. It is the region’s primary campaign to encourage eligible working individuals and families to participate in the Earned Income Tax Credit.

“The Earned Income Tax Credit remains the most effective anti-poverty program in the United States,” said Sherry Magill, president of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, “and we are fortunate the United Way remains dedicated to this work in Northeast Florida.”

RealSense began in 2003 with support of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and many other donors, including the City of Jacksonville. Since then, RealSense and its partners have prepared 175,000 tax returns, resulting in $226 million in total tax refunds and $68 million in Earned Income Tax Credit refunds for an estimated economic impact of $108 million.

RealSense also works to increase the number of individuals and families with checking accounts and budgets.

Written by
Melanie Cost Young