A Heart for Helping People Toward a Greener Path
- February 11, 2021
- By: Greenpath Financial Wellness
Between the soothing tone of her voice and her calming demeanor, clients regularly tell GreenPath’s Financial Wellness Expert, Shelley Perry, that she made them feel better. Perry ensures those who come to her always feel welcomed. “I understand a lot of people don’t want to open up about their finances,” she says. “I want GreenPath to be a place where people can come and feel comfortable with what they share.”
Perry has been with the company a little over three years. Before working for GreenPath, she served people through her credit union career. She started at Community Choice Credit Union as a Personal Advisor but was eager to take things a step further. She wanted to build relationships with those she spoke with. She wanted to make sure people were headed down the right path — a green path.
“I was looking to learn and grow more,” she said. After researching GreenPath’s mission and culture, she knew it was the right fit. “I loved where I was but I wanted to help more people reach their long-term goals.”
Perry takes pride in her ability to guide clients toward getting the help they need. After speaking to those who come to her, she either suggests a Debt Management Program (DMP) or at the very least, she provides referrals that will allow them to better their situation. She does regular check-ins with all her clients.
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Shelly’s Purposeful “Why”
Shelly’s favorite calls are the ones where she is really making a difference. “The most rewarding part of my job is noticing the impact I am making,” she said. “I especially enjoy helping people get their basic needs met whether that is with housing, food, shelter…It gives me a sense of joy.”
For those who come to her but are not fully ready, Perry tells them it’s perfectly okay to come back another day. Undoubtedly all have days that are better than others and she tells her clients she will be there when the time’s right.
Over the past years, Perry has noticed a common trend among the people who come to her. Many need options to change financial habits or spending patterns. A lot of people benefit from ideas to understand just how much they are spending. For many, little expenses tend to add up. As a solution to this, she often recommends clients write down every purchase they make. “When you don’t see it visually, you aren’t realizing how much you are spending. It’s hard to see where your every dollar is going,” she advises. “If you are buying a coffee every day, that adds up.”
Without a doubt, habits are not easy to break. Many financial habits are intertwined with unmet emotional needs. Perry helps with this by keeping her clients focused on their long-term goals whether that is purchasing their first home, getting out of debt or even reducing any financial burdens they may have. “I meet them where they are,” she informs. “Then we start taking baby steps to get them where they need to be.”
Perry says she’s a people-person who gets something out of each conversation. “You never know what someone has to offer. Helping them helps me too,” she says in her calming voice.
Recently a client caught her off guard, “‘Don’t ever doubt God hasn’t placed you exactly where you should be,” they told her. “You’re doing exactly what you should be doing.'”
About the Author
Lia Andreassi has been with GreenPath since early 2020. She is currently a Client Advocate based out of our Farmington Hills location. She serves as the first point of contact for incoming clients and is readily available to attend to questions or concerns about our services. Lia enjoys working for a non-profit and passionately believes that with willpower and determination, anyone can remix the American Dream.