Thursday AM February 11th, 2010

The Financial Opportunity Center provides financial resources to help lower-income families.ξ Pam Flaherty is with the City Foundation, which partners with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

"The mission of the Citi Foundation is economic empowerment.ξ These financial opportunity centers are focused on providing three kinds of services for these lower income neighborhoods: employment placement and career coaching; financial education; finally, is access to public benefits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit.ξ So it's all about how to help people help themselves, get jobs—get better jobs—manage their finances better and have access to benefits they should have."

Flaherty says beyond jobs, the center gives tools to help families better manage their finances.

"So the Near Northside Financial Opportunity Center is going to be here at the Wesley Community Center, in a place where people in this neighborhood feel comfortable going, a place that they trust.ξ And this is all about helping people.ξ And in this economy that we're in, people want access to jobs, but they also have to learn the skills that are going to enable them to take advantage of having that income, by building to build a better financial situation for themselves and their families."

Flaherty says some clients who come in are doing okay—they just want to make sure they're doing everything they can to provide for their families.ξ But the Financial Opportunity Center also help people without credit histories or with child support or tax problems.
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