Innovative Centers, launched in 2011, help residents build assets, improve credit scores, retain employment and advance personal financial goals.
Mayor Angel Taveras announced today that 1,100 clients have been served through Providence's Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs) since their launch in 2011. The City has realized its commitment to financial empowerment through a partnership with the Rhode Island Local Initiatives Support Corporation (RI-LISC). LISC serves as both an investor and a manager of the program, and also maintains a fourth FOC in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
Providence's three FOCs are located at Amos House, the Genesis Center and the Providence Housing Authority Manton Heights Family Development. At each site, financial and employment coaching and training, and assistance with access to income supports is provided in both one-on-one and group settings to clients as part of an integrated bundle of services.
"Providence's Financial Opportunity Centers are providing critical training and services to help residents attain economic stability," said Mayor Angel Taveras. "These supports help residents gain stable financial footing, from building a family's credit score to helping a working parent retain an existing job."
To date, Providence's FOCs have:
"Since 1991, Rhode Island LISC has worked with local partners to transform distressed neighborhoods into resilient and sustainable communities of choice and opportunity," said Rhode Island LISC Executive Director Jeanne Cola. "Our Financial Opportunity Centers are a key part of Rhode Island LISC's strategic approach to building strong neighborhoods and healthy communities."
Providence's FOCs are supported through a national Social Innovation Fund grant as well as city-directed Community Development Block Grant funding.
Mayor Taveras announced the results in his welcoming remarks to national attendees of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition quarterly meeting. The City of Providence is a founding member of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition, a network of 12 cities dedicated to advancing innovative financial empowerment initiatives. The Coalition is co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
Jonathan Mintz, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and José Cisneros, Treasurer for the City and County of San Francisco, traveled to Providence for the three-day meeting.