Working with people one-on-one and considering their individual needs is how the Financial Opportunity Center at Great Lakes Community Action Partnership (GLCAP) helps members succeed.
In 2022, the GLCAP Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) served 78 members in Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, and Wood counties. Overall, members reduced debt by an average of $2,373, maintained an average savings of $1,317, and increased net worth by $6,933 through the help of FOC coaches.
“We look at each individual member’s financial circumstances and help them make a plan that suits their needs,” FOC Specialist Corey Manns said. “This could include paying off outstanding debt, obtaining stable or more gainful employment, making a household budget, or using any other strategy that helps FOC members become more financially secure.”
One person came to the FOC with a monthly budget of only $400 and no employment. Working with FOC Coach Mallory Pena in Fremont, she was able to find employment, balance her budget, and meet her monthly expenses.
“She was so happy that she was able to discipline herself enough to make sure all her bills were paid for the month,” Pena said. “Not only was she able to break even for the month, but she had also found employment to have a more consistent income. She was so proud of herself and thanked me for all my coaching and support.”
Another woman came to the FOC needing help with debt reduction, paying off monthly bills, and securing steadier employment. With the help of FOC Coach Joel Burg, she created a budget, stabilized her employment, and increased her credit score by 83 points.
“She has really applied herself and utilized the tools offered by the FOC program for the betterment of herself and family,” Burg said.
The FOC continues to seek members who are interested in joining. Members are offered incentives for completing financial goals as well as assistance with finding resources to meet their needs.
For more information on the GLCAP Financial Opportunity Center, call 1-800-775-9767 or visit www.glcap.org/foc.