Even before COVID-19, 46.5% of American households reported that their spending outpaced their income. According to the Financial Health Network Financial Health Pulse, in 2022 declines in financial health were related to expenses outpacing incomes and leading to reduced savings. One of the strategic investments and bright lights in the Connecticut financial health landscape is Connecticut’s impactful infrastructure of Financial Opportunity Centers.
Financial Opportunity Centers seek to maintain financial stability and build enduring wealth for low- and moderate-income people of color in Connecticut. Based on a model developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs) are career and financial coaching service centers that use an integrated approach to help individuals and families achieve long-term financial stability. FOCs provide three core services, including employment and career counseling, one-on-one financial coaching, and access to income supports such as SNAP benefits, utility assistance and affordable health insurance. FOCs also provide access to low-cost financial products and services that help build credit, savings, and assets. Financial Opportunity Centers offer a coordinated, long term financial stability strategy that directly responds to community needs across the state. As more and more Connecticut residents struggle toward financial health and as inflation and spending put more pressure on stagnant or slowly rising wages, FOCs offer an integrated, coordinated, and responsive model to achieve long-term financial stability.
Please join the Greater New York Asset Funders Network and LISC Connecticut on Friday, November 3, 2023 12:00 – 1:30 ET (virtual) to learn more about the local Financial Opportunity Centers and their place in Connecticut’s financial health infrastructure. Together we will:
- Highlight the FOC model and what is working at the state level across locations
- Explore lessons learned from the FOCs to better understand financial equity and closing Connecticut’s wealth gap
- Identify how philanthropy can support this asset and grow its efficacy and infrastructure to support economic equity
Program Format will include:
12:00–1:00 ET (virtual) Panel Discussion followed by a funder-only virtual conversation 1:00-1:30.
RaQuasia Smith, LISC Program Officer Community Economic Development
Nancy Coughlin, Executive Director Person to Person, Darien Connecticut
David Hopkins, President and CEO Urban League, Hartford
Michele Conderino, Executive Director, Open Doors Norwalk