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Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs)

Financial Opportunity CentersFinancial Opportunity Centers (FOCs) are place-based, career and financial service centers. They focus on the financial bottom line for low-to-moderate income individuals in LISC target neighborhoods. FOCs help families leave poverty and increase economic stability.

FOCs focus on the needs of families in the early stages by helping them to earn more through income supports such as public benefits, or increased wages. They help families keep more of their money by enhancing budgeting skills and providing access to lower-cost loans from mainstream financial institutions like banks instead of check-cashing centers. In the long-term, these skills empower families to increase their net worth through the acquisition of assets, such as a car, house or savings.

Family income and asset building is key to ensuring neighborhood residents can stabilize their finances, improve their economic health over time and build the confidence to invest in their homes and businesses. Financially stable families are the building blocks of the healthy, sustainable neighborhoods LISC seeks to create.

FOCs provide families with “bundled” services in three areas:

  • Job placement and workforce development programs
  • Financial education and coaching
  • Access to public benefits (such as earned income tax credits, student loans, CHIP)

The Ann E. Casey foundation developed this highly effective, bundled services approach.

Houston’s Six Financial Opportunity Centers (click here to download a map with contact information):

  • Alliance for Multicultural Community Service (Gufton)
  • Chinese Community Center (Alief)
  • SER Jobs for Progress (Magnolia Park)
  • United Way Bay Area Service Center (Clear Lake)
  • Volunteers of America (Independence Heights)
  • Wesley Community Center (Northside)

 

Read details about the core elements of FOCs

Download the 2013 FOC Impact Report

Download a comprehensive brochure about FOCs
 

For additional information, please contact Houston LISC, at 713.334.5700