History of the VITA Program
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is a project of the Milwaukee Asset Building Coalition (MABC). MABC assists low-income Milwaukee County residents achieve financial independence through education, planning and income development.
The Asset Development efforts of SDC rely on assistance from community partners of the agency. This support includes direct support as well as in-kind donations of time and expertise. Their support is critical to the program's efforts to assist families achieve financial independence.
As the lead agency for the MABC, a major asset development initiative, SDC and its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) has had a significant impact, returning more than $185 million to low income families over the past 15 years.
VITA links individuals filing taxes to education about the banking system and the process of obtaining savings and checking accounts, financial education on individual money management and asset development programs surrounding asset accumulation and maintenance.
The VITA program is designed as one strategy of community-wide efforts to move area residents out of poverty. VITA sites are located throughout Milwaukee County to prepare low-income residents' tax returns and file them electronically for free. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.
"Super Sites" were created as one-stop centers in targeted locations. The Super Sites address the challenges of local poverty in new and fresh ways. The SDC North Avenue and SDC Teutonia Avenue locations serve as Super Sites.
At the Super Sites, health insurance enrollment and public benefits applications and renewals are made available on site at SDC by certified staff from health center partners. SDC is collaborating with community partners to make access to services easier for our clients. Financial institutions are on site at SDC Super Sites to give clients the opportunity to open bank accounts and obtain financial and other asset building opportunities. Financial Education workshops are also held.
SDC does not discriminate in its programs, activities, facilities, employment, or educational opportunities on the basis of a
person’s sex, race, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or disability.