LISC National
Our Work

Wealth Building

We know that healthy, sustainable communities are made up of people who have living wage jobs and feel confident about their economic futures. To get there, residents need the skills to advance along the path of employment and manage their money well. That’s why LISC invests in helping people tackle all the facets of financial life—earning a steady pay check, budgeting, building good credit and saving for education and retirement. 

LISC’s financial stability programs connect low- to moderate- income families with the financial and labor market mainstream. We work with partners to offer employment and career services, financial coaching and education and low-cost financial products that build credit, savings and assets.

Financial Opportunity Centers

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. 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. 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. 

In Milwaukee LISC supports four Financial Opportunity Centers, together they serve more than 500 clients per year:

Journey House

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Milwaukee Job Works

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Milwaukee Urban League

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Riverworks Development Corporation

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Bridges to Career Opportunities

Our Bridges to Career Opportunities programs helps Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) clients ramp up foundational literacy and math skills, get technical training and pursue certifications for a particular industry—and receive support like financial coaching to set long-term goals and help manage expenses during training. These programs connect clients to “middle skills” jobs with a career pathway, and help local employers staff up with employees who can get the job done.

Wealth Building News

LISC’s Financial Opportunity Centers Surpass Other Programs

An independent study has found that Financial Opportunity Center clients, who access a range of services, have more success meeting their financial goals than people in programs offering employment assistance alone. 

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Against Many Odds, a Single Mother of Seven Climbs Toward Financial Stability

Donnalisa Guzman has overcome countless hurdles to land a rewarding, living-wage job and peace of mind. A LISC Milwaukee Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) helped her make it happen.

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Journey House helps young men through FOC and YouthBuild

Journey House, on Milwaukee’s south side, empowers families to move out of poverty through adult education, youth development and workforce readiness. Journey House also runs one of Milwaukee’s two Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs), along with a YouthBuild program which trains at-risk youth in construction trades while helping them complete their high school diplomas.

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Patricia Goeman, Deputy Director