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National LISC News

Bundled Approach to Financial Security Pays Off for Houston

In conjunction with Houston Money Week, Houston LISC hosted the Financial Opportunity Centers (FOC) Integrated Approach to Career Pathways luncheon on Tuesday, April 21st. More than 75 guests attended to gain a deeper understanding of the FOC's bundled coaching model and its ongoing impact on Houston's workforce.

"The LISC FOC model is unique in that it is neighborhood-based and incorporates personalized coaching to help families and individuals develop a long-term plan for financial stability," said Amanda Timm, executive director for Houston LISC.  "By helping stabilize family income, we are helping to stabilize our neighborhoods, which will ultimately benefit the greater Houston region."

The luncheon's diverse panels of policy makers, FOC partners, funders and employers led in-depth discussions about the effectiveness of the model and its long-term impact. Highlights of the event included:


• Sarah Rankin, senior research associate -National LISC and author of Building Sustainable Communities: Integrated Services and Improved Financial Outcomes for Low-Income Households, presented her national research on the impact of financial coaching on employment outcomes.


• The introduction of the "Bridges to Career Opportunities" initiative which provides contextualized vocational training at our existing FOCs. Described by Seung Kim, director of family income and wealth building-National LISC, the Bridges program "helps individuals excel by exposing them to career pathways and providing the skills to get ahead".

Houston LISC also presented their report, Building Bridges to a Stronger Workforce: The Healthcare Case Study at Wesley Community Center, which highlights how the partnership formed by Wesley and Houston Methodist Hospital is helping to create a more qualified workforce.  "The LISC Houston Bridging initiative is reinventing the way community organizations work with potential employers", said Rhetta Detrich, consultant and co-author of report. "This is an opportunity for employers and those organizations that support neighborhoods to work together strategically towards a common goal of meaningful employment and economic stability for families and neighborhoods."

The event was closed by Aly Arnold, Chinese Community Center's Income Support Coach and her client Juan Salazar who shared their personal and inspirational account of how the FOC and its support touched not only the individual client but entire communities.


Houston LISC would like to give a special "thank you" to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas- Houston Branch, the Rockwell Fund, Bank of America, United Way THRIVE and JP Morgan Chase for their support and partnership during this event. We also would like to thank all of our Houston Financial Opportunity Centers for the important work that they do to help build sustainable communities.


To learn more about Financial Opportunity Centers or the Bridges to Career Pathways program, please email VanNhi Nguyen or visit our website