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Our FOCs At Work On The Ground | Northside Common Ministries | June 2017

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Coaches help to address urgent needs while working toward long-term stability

Larry was struggling to meet his basic needs for shelter and food and turned to Northside Common Ministries. His apartment had been condemned and he had nowhere to go, so he moved into the shelter where he could get back on his feet. The first week there, he met Ed, the Employment Specialist, and Karen, the Financial Counselor, at the agency’s Financial Opportunity Center. Although Larry had a part-time job at a fast food restaurant, he did not have enough savings or income to afford a new apartment.

Larry received the 2107 Goodwill Achievers Award as a result of his accomplishments. Photo credit | Goodwill SW PA

During the four months he lived at the shelter, his most urgent needs were met, enabling him to work toward financial stability. He met with Ed and Karen several times to employment and financial coaching sessions, which allowed him to work on goals that were important to him and receive accountability for his efforts.

Not only did Larry secure full-time employment with Ed’s help; he also received a tax refund, established a bank account, created a budget and found an affordable apartment with Karen’s support. As a result of the efforts he’s made to reach the goals he set for himself, Larry received the 2107 Goodwill Achievers Award. He and the staff team are confident that he’s on the path toward financial stability.


Neighborhood Allies, with technical support from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and financial support from local partners, launched three Financial Opportunity Centers (FOC) in January 2015 in/around Pittsburgh to help low and moderate income families build assets and attain financial stability and upward mobility. Since launching in 2015, our local network of FOCs have provided bundled services to over 1000 individuals. 719 people have obtained employment and 380 have increased their net income.

Visit our website for more information on the local Pittsburgh network of Financial Opportunity Centers or contact sarah@neighborhoodallies.org

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