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Rural LISC is pleased to recognize the T.L.L. Temple Foundation and its support for our work with partner organizations in Texas, beginning in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and continuing into the present with support for a rural Financial Opportunity Center (FOC). Serving 23 counties in Deep East Texas and one in Arkansas, the T.L.L. Temple Foundation is a family foundation working alongside families and communities to alleviate poverty, bringing opportunity and resources to rural east Texas residents through its focus on health, education, economic development, community development, human services, arts and culture, and environmental conservation.
LISC developed the FOC model within its urban markets to deploy effective anti-poverty strategies that move people toward financial stability. This research-based, data-driven model has proven to deliver solutions for individuals and families seeking financial stability. Under the FOC model, community-based organizations deliver a set of three integrated core services: financial coaching, employment services and income supports access, through 1:1 coaching. Recently, Rural LISC has begun deploying this model in rural markets across the country.
“Rural America is full of opportunity. LISC’s FOC model catalyzes this opportunity by holistically supporting multiple aspects of an individual’s life, empowering that individual to step outside of survival mode and focus on what will help them and their family advance to the next level in their life,” said Julia Malinowski, Rural LISC Senior Program Officer. “We know that healthy, sustainable communities are made up of people who have a living wage job and feel confident about their future. What we’re seeing in many of the communities in which we work is that jobs are available. What is missing for local residents is a pathway to employability and financial stability. More than ever the two are intertwined as employers look at applicants’ credit. For many, FOCs fill this gap and are the right entry point on the path to secure a high-quality job. We are thrilled to partner with T.L.L. Temple Foundation to increase financial opportunity in rural east Texas.”
With the T.L.L. Temple Foundation FOC investment, Rural LISC, in collaboration with our partner, Legacy Institute for Financial Education (LIFE), based in Lufkin, Texas, has opened a FOC that is serving low- to moderate-income individuals and families in rural East Texas. LIFE’s FOC has goals to serve more than 200 individuals and families in the next three years and to increase net income, net worth, long-term and short-term savings, credit scores, and overall financial stability for residents across Angelina County.
T.L.L. Temple Foundation’s service area, home to 5.7 million people, is largely rural and faces high rates of poverty and unemployment, low educational attainment, and poor health outcomes. It is in this setting that a FOC can make a big difference, augmenting the region’s other numerous assets, like rich biodiversity, a strong cultural heritage and dedicated community leaders.
Since it was established in 1962, the T.L.L. Temple Foundation has invested almost $500 million in the areas of education, economic development, community revitalization, health, human services, arts and culture, and conservation and the environment.
"Helping individuals learn how to develop long-term financial stability can transform entire families and communities over a lifetime. The T.L.L. Temple Foundation mission focuses on a thriving region. A region cannot thrive without thriving families,” said T.L.L. Temple Foundation President and CEO Wynn Rosser.