LISC-supported Financial Opportunity Center featured in White House blog
This story highlights the work of the San Diego International Rescue Committee (IRC) Financial Opportunity Center. The San Diego IRC received a $135,000 Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grant through LISC.
San Diego Center Gives Hope, Aid to Refugees
13 Aug 2012 - Jonathan Greenblatt, whitehouse.gov
Arriving in the United States is just the start of the journey for refugees like Alaa, an engineer from Iraq. Unable to find a job, his first few months in America were a struggle, as he tried to cover his most basic needs. Alaa was eager for a job – any job – to become self-sufficient while he studied to resume work as an engineer in a new country.
Generations of immigrants have faced similar challenges, but luckily Alaa found a public-private partnership that helps people like him gain financial stability: the San Diego International Rescue Committee (IRC) Financial Opportunity Center. The San Diego IRC received a $135,000 Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grant through the Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC), which developed the innovative "Financial Opportunity Center" model. This model combines financial services across three areas: employment placement and career improvement, financial education and coaching, and public benefits access. The IRC applies this model to integrate traditional refugee services with financial management support.
The Right Kind of Help
The IRC Financial Opportunity Center provided Alaa with regular one-on-one job search assistance, helped get his University of Baghdad transcripts evaluated for equivalency in the United States, and assisted in his enrollment in community college courses on Microsoft Office and AutoCAD, an engineering software program. The organization also supplied him with a $100 loan to help him build his credit. A financial counselor even accompanied him to the bank to open his first account. Continued[+]...
> Read the full whitehouse.gov blog post
> Visit the San Diego LISC website
Article Type: Blog Post