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News from Innovative Changes


What a month! So much has happened in the last four weeks:
  • We made our 100th loan on October 20th.
  • We received our 501(c)(3) tax exemption from the IRS.
  • We submitted our Certification application to the Community Development Financial Institution Fund
  • We were awarded Innovator of the Year by the Credit Builders Alliance in Washington DC. Click here for details on our award and a profile on our work.
  • We received a generous grant of $1,000 from Sterling Savings Bank, AND a $2,000 award from Key Bank two of our banking partners dedicated to helping us ensure that our un- and under-banked clients have access to responsible traditional banking services.
Innovative Changes is grateful to all of its partners and supporters. This month, we bring you a profile on Human Solutions, which has been working to eliminate barriers to escaping poverty through emergency family shelter, job training, affordable housing, eviction prevention, and emergency household assistance in Portland for over 20 years. Human Solutions was an early advocate for Innovative Changes and to-date we have served almost a dozen of their residents with loans and financial coaching.

We also introduce you to Amanda G., one of our clients whose commitment to improving her financial and household circumstances exemplifies what we can all achieve together.

As the holiday season swings into full gear, we know how much fun but also how stressful this time of year can be. In December we are kicking off the first of our new monthly seminar series with a "Holiday Finances 101" workshop and resource fair.

We wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.


Sarah Chenven
Program Director

Amanda's Story

Amanda G.Amanda G. was referred to Innovative Changes by the Housing Authority of Portland, where she participated in the GOALS (Great Opportunities to Advance, Learn, and Succeed) Family Self-Sufficiency Program. Her goal was to pay off outstanding debt and save money to buy a house and start a business.

A single mother of one, Amanda works full-time as administrative support staff with the Oregon Department of Human Services. With budget cuts came mandatory furloughs, which negatively impacted Amanda's finances.

Commenting on her motivation to enroll in Innovative Changes programs, Amanda said, "I'm living paycheck to paycheck so I want to be financially secure and I want financial freedom."

Continue reading >

Holiday Resource Fair

Saving moneyThe holidays can be a stressful time, especially for those of us on tight budgets. In order to more effectively help families cope with pressures of the holiday season, Innovative Changes will be hosting "Holiday Finances 101" on December 1st, to kick off our new series of monthly seminars.

"Holiday Finances 101", hosted at the New Columbia Opportunity Center, 4610 N Trenton St, Portland, from 5:30-7:00pm, will equip interested individuals, with tools and resources to minimize stress during through the holiday season.

Partner highlight: Human Solutions
Human Solutions logoInnovative Changes' partner, Human Solutions, "eliminates barriers to escaping poverty through emergency family shelter, job training, affordable housing, eviction prevention, and emergency household assistance." Resident Services Specialist, Laura Lirette runs the community room at Arbor Glenn Apartments, one of the Human Solutions' low-income housing complexes.

"Families often come to me with requests for energy or rent assistance," Laura said. "They come short because of gaps in employment or because of illness."

For Laura, Innovative Changes is a service that "families with steady income would benefit from for short term loans to help with rent or utilities. It's a more secure way to provide assistance than the usual lottery system.

Continue reading >

In This Issue
Amanda's Story
Holiday Resource Fair
Partner highlight: Human Solutions
Quick Stats
Upcoming Events
Quick Stats
As of 10/31/2010



109, averaging $460.65 for a total of $49,750.00

Revolved amount


Repaid loans

Financial education clients

Upcoming Events

Holiday Finances 101

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

For more info and to register, email Talia Kahn-Kravis, or call her at (503) 943-5645.

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.