The Imperial Beach library has been chosen to act as one of six testing sites throughout the San Diego County Library system to provide people free video chats with experts to confidentially discuss housing, legal and personal financing isues via Skype, according to librarian June Engel.
“I’m very excited about this program because as you know we have one of the highest unemployment rates in the county,” Engel told members of the public and Imperial Beach City Council at a meeting last Wednesday.
IB had a 11.4 percent unemployment rate in October, compared to a 7 percent unemployment rate for San Diego County. IB has the second highest unemployment rate in the county and has maintained an unemployment rate above 10 percent since the 2008 economic downturn.
The Virtual Counseling Network (VCN) is run by the San Diego Housing Opportunities Collaborative.
Stop in or call the IB library at 619-424-6981 to make a reservation, Engel said. Counseling is limited to one hour a day.
“This is a free program for anybody in the community, doesn’t matter if you live in Imperial Beach or not, they can come to the library, they can hook up to a lawyer, attorney or certified account to talk over such matters as credit counseling, debtmanagement, fair housing, financial well being, foreclosure intervention, home buyer education, home maintenance, renters [issues] for both renters and rentees, all free lawyer assistance at the library,” she said.
The confidential advisory Skype calls take place in a private room and are confidential.