by Destinee Evans
SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (July 10, 2020) – Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a UK-based organization that has helped 2,500 people per year become debt free. (Note: an earlier version of this article reported the total number incorrectly as the annual number.) With branches in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, CAP added a United States center in 2019, in South Holland, Illinois.
Nancy Zekveld is a South Holland resident who took on the job as Center Manager of the South Holland branch of CAP. The Center is hosted by Covenant Fellowship Church, where Nancy’s husband Richard serves as pastor.
Zekveld helps individuals who are struggling with their finances, working with them to establish a plan to become debt free. Though CAP is hosted by local churches, their services are free for everyone, which is something that appealed to Zekveld.
She said, “I saw communities I lived in where people were struggling, and I thought that it would be great to have a place where everyone could have a plan for their future, budget, and not get themselves into trouble.”
A CAP Debt Coach begins the process by meeting with a client in his or her home. At a follow-up visit, the client’s financial information is collected and submitted to the CAP office, where a credit counselor reviews it and prepares a budget and an advice letter. The third and final visit takes place when the Debt Coach personally brings the budget and advice letter back to the client, and they review it together. The client can then decide whether to move forward in relationship with CAP toward freedom from debt. Throughout the meetings, CAP and clients build community and trust with each other, and clients learn that no one is alone in the journey.
CAP wants to see people set free from financial burdens. As a Christian organization, they use spiritual tools and values in their training and coaching, but spiritual commitment from clients is not a requirement. Their website explains, “As Christians, we believe that God answers prayer, so we may offer to pray with you, but it’s up to you if you’re happy for us to do this or not. CAP helps anyone, regardless of religious beliefs, race, nationality, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation or disability.”
Zekveld is working toward letting more people know about CAP and how it can provide resources in South Holland and surrounding communities. More information is available directly from CAP:
The CAP center at Covenant Fellowship Church is located at 600 W 162nd Street in South Holland, Illinois.