The ribbon cutting for WeDevelopment Credit Union in Kansas City on Oct. 22 will be a small but long-awaited celebration of a 13-year-old vision finally realized.
While work on the branch at 3123-24 Prospect Ave, KCMO, has been underway for 60 days, the work to charter the credit union dates back to a task force commissioned by former KCMO Mayor Mark Funkhouser in 2009 to find economic development tools that would work at improving “economically distressed areas” of Kansas City.
After the task force completed its work, task force chair Ajamu Webster and a few other members started to work on the report’s recommendation to open a credit union (CDCU).
WeDevelopment Federal Credit Union, the culmination of their work, received its charter from the National Credit Union Association on July 19. As a CDCU, the credit union is chartered to serve populations that typically have limited access to safe financial services.
WeDevelopment’s charter established its service area as “a contiguous economically distressed area,” with boundaries along the river on the north, to 85th St. on the South, Troost on the west to 435.
To be a member, individuals will have to live, work or worship in that area. That’s an estimated membership pool of 130,000 people.
Credit Union Services
WeDevelopment Federal Credit Union’s initial products and services include personal and business savings and checking accounts, an online and mobile banking app, along with auto, signature and a specialized home loan product.
A large focus of the credit union will be on helping its members build wealth. While the plan is to employ a wealth coach to work with members, their members’ wealth and financial well-being is the responsibility of everyone on staff.
“We’re not bank tellers. We’re financial advisors who want to share with you how we can help. We want to communicate the options we have, and how these options help us help you,” says Gwen Washington, WeDevelopment’s CEO. “We operate to promote the well-being of our member-owners…. we truly have your interest at heart.”
In addition, the credit union has applied for funding to implement a payday rescue program. The program will help get its members out of their payday loans and build cash reserves for future financial needs.
“We can all benefit from our people coming up, not being worse,” says Webster, who serves as chair of the WeDevelopment board of directors. “So what that means is WeDevelopment, our strength, our policies, have to be built around how do we pull our people up.”
The ribbon cutting on Sat., Oct. 22, at 9 a.m. is a ceremonial opening, and will be held on the site of the credit union in Linwood Plaza, 3123 Prospect, KCMO. Due to construction delays, the credit union will not officially open for business that day. However, individuals can open accounts, but not make deposits.
Construction is expected to be complete within the next 30 days. In the meantime, to learn more about WeDevelopment and its services, visit WeDevelopmentFCU.com.