LISC Announces Expansion of Financial Opportunity Center Program

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation has announced a national expansion of its Financial Opportunity Center model to dozens of new locations.

Funded through a $4.2 million grant from the Social Innovation Fund and matching grants from a number of companies and organizations, including Bank of America, U.S. Bank, and the Citi, Walmart, Casey, MacArthur, and Open Society foundations, the expansion will enable LISC to serve approximately fifteen thousand low-income families and individuals in more than fifty communities by providing access to employment services, boosting their financial literacy, and increasing access to public benefits. SIF, which announced $50 million in grants last summer, is a White House initiative designed to foster innovative approaches to a range of social issues.

As part of the effort, the Walmart and Citi foundations have awarded $1.5 million and $2 million, respectively, to LISC to help establish more than ten Financial Opportunity Centers in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and San Diego, while Bank of America awarded $150,000 to help underwrite the cost of financial coaching and training for staff at the new centers.

"We can't help communities recover from economic distress if we don't help families achieve financial stability," said LISC president and CEO Michael Rubinger. "Financial Opportunity Centers are central to our overall efforts to help raise the standards of living in struggling communities, so residents can walk down safe streets, send their kids to good schools, play in gang-free parks, shop at their neighborhood grocery store, find jobs within their community, and plan for a better future for their families. These centers can be life-changing, and we are so pleased to be able to expand this program to so many new people and places."