Our Initiatives

Financial Opportunity Centers

What we do

Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs) are career and personal finance service centers that help low- to moderate-income people build smart money habits and focus on the financial bottom line. LISC has a network of nearly 80 FOCs across the country, embedded in local community organizations that are trusted, known for their history of providing quality services, and convenient to where people live and seek out services.

A financial literacy class at the International Rescue Committee FOC in San Diego, CA
Five centers in Chicago, like the FamilyNet Center, offer residents access to employment services, computers and broadband access
An FOC client at his new job in Detroit, MI (Photo: Marvin Shaouni)
FOC clients have a greater likelihood of finding and retaining a job than do people who choose to look on their own. Houston, TX
Strong relationships between clients and financial coaches are central to the success of LISC's FOCs. Twin Cities, MN
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FOCs provide employment and career counseling, one-on-one financial coaching and education and low-cost financial products that help build credit, savings and assets. They also connect clients with income supports such as food stamps, utilities assistance and affordable health insurance.  The cornerstone of the FOC model is providing these services in an integrated way—rather than as stand-alone services—and with a long-term commitment to helping clients reach their goals.  

We’ve learned that integrated or “bundled” services lead to concrete gains in net income and job retention. Research shows that FOC clients who take advantage of combined services are 50 percent more likely to land a well-paying job than people receiving employment services alone. And long-term job retention—holding a job for a year or more—almost doubles when financial coaching reinforces the work of employment counseling.

What we offer

  • Grants that help community organizations establish, staff and run FOCs in neighborhoods that need them, covering everything from start-up to operating costs
  • Technical assistance and training to help FOC staff reach out to potential clients and offer effective coaching and job counseling
  • Data collection tools that help FOCs tailor support for individual clients and inform the work at large
  • Professional networking support in the form of national and regional meetings, collaborative groups and an online library of resources on FOCs and similar integrated service delivery models
     
Building Sustainable Communities Report

Research on the efficacy of our Financial Opportunities Center model

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