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News from Innovative Changes                                              Volume 1, Issue 3, July 2010 

How are ICS loans making a difference?

Since February of this year, ICS has served over 75 individuals and families in the Portland Metro region with financial education services and small-dollar loans (54 loans totaling over $25,000). We are green housebeginning to see  how our products and services are helping people achieve and maintain household stability. Our customers use their loans for a variety of household and credit building purposes, for example...
  • least 20 of our clients have used their loans to catch up on back rent and utility bills
  • least 6 of our clients have used their loans to pay off high cost debt such as payday loans
  • least 2 of our clients have used their loans to make vehicle repairs in order to maintain job stability
  • least 2 of our clients have used their loans to pay off back taxes in order to avoid garnishment.
  • least 17 of our clients have used their loans to build credit to achieve future goals.
In addition to helping our clients manage their short-term financial needs, our loans are helping our clients decrease their money-related stress and begin to think about long-term goals. At the time of taking out their loans...
  • ...over 90% of our clients report that they are taking steps to achieve a long-term goal
  • ...over 65% of our clients report that they are taking steps to reduce stress about money in a way that has had a positive impact on their lives.

From one of our clients: "[Since I began working with Innovative Changes] I am not so stressed out about all the bills and debt that I owe. I can look at it a little more positively and figure out how to do it. " -F.A.

Partner Profile: Bradley Angle House
 BAH logo

Bradley Angle House has been working as a Portland-area service provider since 1975 to offer survivors of domestic and sexual violence options for safety, empowerment, healing and hope, while collaborating with communities to create social change.  Recognizing the need to identify ways in which access to economic resources and financial education/planning can help support survivors -- and that no other agency was working with clients to help them plan for and realize a stable, secure financial future -- Bradley Angle House established an Economic Empowerment Program called Making Cents over a year ago.  The program engages Financial Planners and community partners, like Innovative Changes, who offer expertise and services critical to helping survivors pursue financial stability. 

For survivors of domestic and sexual violence, access to assets and other financial resources is essential.  Those who are financially dependent on abusers have fewer resources for sustained escape.  Equally important is the confidence in one's ability to manage money and plan for a stable financial future.  According to a report by Oregon's Department of Human Services' Children, domestic violence programs answered 165,991 calls to their help lines across the state in 2009. Fifty percent of those seeking shelter were fleeing violence perpetrated by both current and former spouses, live-in partners and dating partners.

Innovative Changes has participated as a resource in three Making Cents graduations this year. As a result, Making Cents graduates have accessed ICS services including ongoing financial coaching, loans to catch up on household bills and referrals to affordable bank accounts. We continue to coordinate with BAH to help survivors of domestic and sexual violence overcome financial obstacles in pursuit of better lives for themselves and their children. 

Announcing our Summer workshop schedule!
ICS is pleased to offer Financial Household Stability, a four-part series of interactive workshops. Each of the four workshops- Making Ends Meet; Budgeting and Saving; Hands-On Banking; and Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit- can be taken on their own, or as part of the full sequence.
 Download a flyer and course schedule here.
Coming up...
As the 2010 fiscal year wound down last month, we solicited feedback from our clients, partners and other stakeholders to inform how to improve our products and services to meet the needs of the communities that we serve.

Stay tuned for the results of our summer planning sessions! In August and September, we will be unveiling some changes to our existing services, as well as possibly piloting a new loan product!

Thank you to everyone who contributed thoughts and suggestions about Innovative Changes!

In this issue
How are ICS loans making a difference?
Partner Profile: Bradley Angle House
Financial Education Summer Schedule
Coming up...
Our mission
As an emerging nonprofit community development financial institution, Innovative Changes helps struggling individuals and families manage short-term financial needs in order to achieve and maintain household stability.
As of June 30, 2010
  • We have served over 75 individuals and families since the beginning of the year!

  • We have made 50 loans, 7 of which have been repaid in full. The average size of our loans is $475.00
  • We have trained 100 staff members from 30+ nonprofit agencies to refer loan clients.
We are grateful to our generous funders for making our work possible.
Quick links

calendar icon
Financial Household Stability Group Workshops
Part 1: Making Ends Meet
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Part 2: Budgeting and Saving
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Part 3: Hands-On Banking
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Part 4: Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit
Saturday, July 31, 2010

Workshops will be held at the New Columbia Opportunity Center
4610 N. Trenton St.
Portland, OR 97203

For more info and to register, call Carmina Lass at (503) 943-5645 or email her at
carmina [at]

Contact us!
For more information about Innovative Changes,
please contact us at or by calling (503) 943-5607
We are located at
4610 N. Trenton Street
Portland, OR 97203

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We appreciate your support!