Since 2007, we've seeded five Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs) in Twin Cities neighborhoods.These centers provide bundled financial services and one-on-one coaching. More than 4,500 residents have already benefited from FOC counseling, improving their credit scores, increasing their incomes, and growing their assets.
In 2015, through our Bridges to Career Opportunities (BCO) grant program, we helped expand those bundled services to focus on employment. Our BCO grantees--Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES), Emerge Community Development, Hmong American Partnership, International Institute of Minnesota, Lutheran Social Service, and Project for Pride in Living--will be helping individuals with low incomes start and progress along a career pathway through: 1) basic adult education in reading, math, and language proficiency, 2) training that leads to credentials important to local industries, and 3) career and financial coaching.
In 2016, Mapping a Road to Financial Wellbeing, an evaluation report on LISC's Financial Opportunity Centers, found that the FOC approach was surpassing other programs in getting clients on the path to stability.