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Innovative Change$ Email Newsletter
News from Innovative Changes
October 2010


The fall is here and with it, an uptick in our work. Check out the schedule of our classes in the sidebar and the new resource publication for clients, Innovative Connections, which we launched last month.

In this issue of our enewsletter, we also bring you our client Salvatore's story and a profile of our new AmeriCorps VISTA colleague Talia Kahn-Kravis.

As always, thank you for your continued support.


Sarah Chenven
Program Director

Salvatore's Story

The following is a transcript of an email Salvatore A. sent us to share his story and experience with Innovative Changes.


Salvatore A.I am a 43 year old disabled business person. I started my business (Old West Games and Tables) around 2005 through the Vocational Rehabilitation program and the Plan to Achieve Self Sufficiency (PASS).

In June 2010 I was approved for a power chair through Medicare. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover any accessories or ramps that may be needed to utilize the chair in a current living situation. I suddenly realized that my business and personal funds were low and that I lacked the appropriate credit history or score to get a loan or a credit card. I wouldn't be able to use the chair at all outside of my apartment because of a large stair about 8 feet outside my door. I needed only approximately $350, but that small amount seemed like a gigantic hurdle at the time.

After exhausting all other possibilities I turned to Sam Sproson at Avita Business Center. She was able to do some networking and found me the loan opportunity at Innovative Changes.

Continue reading >

Partner highlight: REACH Community Development

REACH logoREACH provides "quality affordable housing and opportunities for individuals, families, and communities." Since 1982, REACH "has pioneered affordable housing and supportive programs that address complex challenges facing communities". REACH owns and manages over 1,300 units of affordable housing throughout the Portland metropolitan area.

Asset Coordinator Julie Wang runs the organization's adult financial education class, financial coaching, and the Individual Development Accounts program.

"We're a developer and property management company providing resident services to low- and very-low income people," Julie said. "One of my roles is to identify and offer assistance to residents who are chronically late with their rent.
Introducing Talia Kahn-Kravis

Talia Kahn-KravisTalia Kahn-Kravis joined Innovative Changes in September as the 2010 Americorps VISTA Program Coordinator.

Most recently, Talia worked with the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to increase food access, security, and sustainability in the Portland area.

About her focus on food, Talia said, "I've realized that you can make food available in low-income communities or start vegetable plots, but a key reality behind access to nutritious sustenance is having enough money to get it. This is the case for most of our basic necessities. I believe that Innovative Changes offers a way to start bridging this disconnect between financial resources and meeting one's daily needs."

Continue reading >

Just Launched: Innovative Connections, a New Client Publication

Rain Last month the first issue of a client-focused publication, Innovative Connections, was sent out to more than one hundred Innovative Changes clients.

With an advice column, a tip of the month contest, a "For Our Borrowers" section, profiles of financially sound products and services, spotlights on community programs and opportunities, and a list of upcoming classes and events, we hope that Innovative Connections will become a useful tool for anyone pursuing financial stability.

If you would like to receive a monthly e-mail or hard copy of Innovative Connections, please contact to be added to our list.

In This Issue
Salvatore's Story
Partner highlight: REACH
Introducing Talia Kahn-Kravis
Just Launched: Innovative Connections
Quick Stats
New Partners
Upcoming Events
Quick Stats
As of 10/16/2010



97, averaging $467.19 for a total of $40,950

Amount revolved back into loan capital

Repaid loans

People served by IC$ Financial Education Programs

New Partners

Constructing Hope
Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program

Read the full list of our partners >
Upcoming Events

Financial Household Stability Workshops

* Saturdays, October 2-23, 10am-12pm
* Hewitt Place Townhomes, 846 SW 29th Way, Troutdale

* Wednesdays, October 6-27, 11am-1pm
* New Columbia Opportunity Center, 4610 N Trenton St, Portland

Holiday Finances 101: How to Survive the Holidays Without Burning a Hole in Your Wallet

* Wednesday, December 1st, 5:30-7pm
* New Columbia Opportunity Center, 4610 N Trenton St., Portland

For more info and to register,
email Talia Kahn-Kravis, or call her at (503) 943-5620.

Quick Links

Our Mission
Innovative Changes exists to help low-income individuals and families, and those who otherwise lack adequate access to capital and/or financial services, manage short-term financial needs in order to achieve and maintain household stability.