Ill. Treasurer provides Resources Guide to Katrina evacuees

CHICAGO—In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Illinois State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka is distributing free copies of the office’s “Financial Resource Guide for Illinois Women” to Gulf Coast evacuees who have landed in Illinois.

The guide, which was compiled by Topinka and her Advisory Board for Women’s Issues, will serve as a supplement to the emergency information currently being provided by shelters, centers and service organizations helping evacuees. In addition to important telephone numbers and Web sites, the guide provides information to help families address long-term financial issues.

“We launched this guide two years ago because we knew that women needed a source they could turn to for relevant financial information,” Topinka said. “After the destruction we just witnessed in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, it occurred to us that it would be a great resource for families that are suffering from devastating losses.”

The booklet provides long-term information to help women from all social and economic backgrounds reach their full economic potential. It was designed to help women at any age and in any financial situation.

The guide contains more than 100 Web sites, agencies, books, articles and other resources where women can find practical help or information related to personal finances. It is divided into four parts: Life Scenarios, Fast Facts on Women and Finances, Resources, and a Glossary of Financial Terms.

Nearly 15,000 copies have been distributed since it was first published in 2003. Revised last year, the guide is now in its third printing with a fourth printing under way. It is also available online at the Treasurer’s Web site.

“This guide stresses the importance of women having a solid understanding of their financial situation so they can take control of it,” Topinka said. “We’ve heard from many women who have found the resource guide to be a useful starting place to finding the help they need.”

A copy of the Resource Guide can be obtained by calling the Treasurer’s Office at (312) 814-1700 or by visiting the Web site of

From the Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2005, issue

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