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News from Innovative Changes
JUNE 2011



June appears to be a stressful month for many in our community. While we have many success stories, including one in this newsletter about former borrower,  Marta, who paid off her loan last month, a number of our clients are still struggling to make ends meet. We are experiencing greater than usual delays in payments this month, and are working with our borrowers to ensure that they do not fall further behind. The most important message we impart: We are here for you! But we also ask our clients to uphold their responsibilities, and the majority are conscientious about that - communicating with us ahead of time if they will be late on a payment or if they want to work on their personal cash flow or budgeting to avoid being late again.


In addition to Enedina's story, this month we bring you a profile on one of our partners, Hacienda CDC, with whom we have forged a strong relationship to develop culturally competent curricula and tools that will best serve Oregon's growing Latino community. 


As we embark on our second summer of operations we are also excited about our burgeoning volunteer program that will help us get to scale efficiently and effectively. We have two volunteer orientations scheduled for June 23rd at noon and June 28th at 6:00 p.m. at our Lloyd Center office. If you or anyone you know is interested in volunteering, please register to attend one of these orientations to learn more about our range of opportunities!


As always, we are pleased to bring you updates about our program and our progress. 


Sarah Chenven
Program Director

Marta's Story


Marta emigrated from Mexico to the United States in 1994 with her husband. Her children were grown and they eventually migrated north as well. In 2010, after years of domestic abuse and violence, she left her husband to live on her own.  However, when she left her husband, he took all of their money and possessions. Marta wanted to start a business but was struggling to make ends meet, and didn't have money to pay her bills.


"I was in a very difficult situation and life was hard," Marta reflects. She attempted to take out a small loan at a bank, but was rejected because of the collateral and income requirements. She didn't dare go to a Payday lender because her husband had often taken out Payday loans and she remembered the hardships they caused. She eventually found Hacienda CDC through a friend and at Hacienda, learned of Innovative Changes.


"Hacienda was the first organization to believe in me even though they didn't really know me; then Innovative Changes decided to believe in me, too."


Partner Highlight: Hacienda

haciendaIf you've ever salivated over the tamales at a Portland farmers market, you've probably had the chance to taste the fruits of Hacienda's Micro-mercantes program,  a business incubator for Latina women who make exceptional tamales. Micro-mercantes is just one of many community development programs that Hacienda has to offer.  Hacienda CDC reaches approximately 2000 residents in Portland through its mission to "develop affordable housing and build thriving communities in support of working Latino families and others in Oregon by promoting healthy living and economic advancement."


Nathan Teske, Hacienda's Community Economic Development Director, oversees all community economic development programs including: adult education, micro-enterprise development and workforce development. In addition, he's always looking for new funding sources and partnerships that will further advance Hacienda's mission. When he first started working with Hacienda in May 2010, he was charged with increasing consumer financial protection among Hacienda's client base.


 "I thought highly of Sarah [Chenven] and saw that there was great overlap between our organizations' work...we could help Innovative Changes reach out to the Latino community and together encourage positive financial behaviors," reflects Nathan. Hence, a partnership was forged. Since then IC$ and Hacienda have collaborated on several grants and hired a joint staff person to translate and adapt IC$'s Financial Household Stability Curriculum for native Spanish speakers with common financial needs and interests. The second round of these classes will be held next month.


Financial Education Galore!  SLs

This week, we hosted a great seminar on the impact of New Banking Regulations on consumers. It was taught by Scott Hartley of Sterling Savings Banks who informed us on changes to overdraft protection fees (you now have to opt-in) and what your rights are as a consumer.We have another exciting seminar coming up in July as well as our summer round of Financial Household Resiliency workshops in English and Spanish (at Hacienda)!


Predatory Lending

July 19th, 5:30-6:30pm

Our very own Program Director, Sarah Chenven, will lead an enlightening seminar on predatory lending: How does it work?, What are the attractions?What's legal? And, what are all these fees that draw people into a never-ending cycle of debt? What are alternatives to the reckless lending system? 

*These seminars are part of our ongoing monthly seminar series covering special topics of interest to our clients. For more information about our seminar visit our website here.


We also will be hosting our own Summer Financial Household Resiliencyseries, open to anyone, at the Lloyd Center in July. Here is the schedule:


Financial Household Stability Workshops: 


Day 1: Saturday, July 23   

Part 1: Making Ends Meet, 10am-12pm

Part 2: Budgeting and Saving, 12:30pm-2:30pm                  Day 2: Saturday, July 30 

Part 3: Hands-On Banking, 10am-12pm   

Part 4: Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit, 12:30pm-2:30pm 


Our classes and seminars will be held at our new location:  

3rd Floor of the Lloyd Center Mall (near Nordstroms), 2201 Lloyd Center, Portland


To Register: call or email Talia at (503)-943-5620/


The classes and seminars are $10 each or $30 for all four classes. Fee waivers are available for those who qualify. 

Partnership and Volunteer Opportunitiesspecial


Referring Partner Orientation Webinar:

On Thursday, June 16th from 11am-12pm we will hold a Referring Partner Orientation for those of you who missed it in March, or for those who wish to refer clients and have not yet attended an orientation (orientations are mandatory for those within your organization who wish to refer clients for loans). The webinar will cover Innovative Changes' services - including more detail on our three loan products, the steps for referring clients, and your role as a referring partner after a loan is made. We will also explain recent changes to our policies and procedures.  Please feel free to forward this information to anyone in your organization whom you think should participate.  

Click here to register


Volunteer Orientation:

In partnership with CASH Oregon, Innovative Changes will be holding a volunteer orientation on Thursday, June 23rd from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. or Tuesday June 28th from 6-7pm at our office in the Lloyd Center Mall, Suite 2011 (on the 3rd floor near Nordstrom's). 

Light refreshments will be provided and we will go over the background of our programs, our organizational culture and philosophy when working with clients, as well as provide you with some sample profiles of our clients and the types of barriers they face. We will provide you with a description of the range of volunteer activities that we encourage you to sign up for as well as a timeline for more in-depth trainings we will be holding in August. 

If interesting in coming to an orientation, please email Talia at specifying which session you'll attend. 

You Can Help!

Innovative Changes is able to keep its rates low because of the donations it receives from those who care about Oregonians. Please help us continue to meet our clients' needs by making a generous donation today.
  • $25 allows an individual to attend our 4-part Household Resiliency financial education class on cash flow planning, budgeting, saving, banking, and credit.
  • $100 keeps a family warm this winter by covering their heating bill.
  • $150 covers 6 months of intensive individual financial coaching for 1 family.
  • $500 helps a family make car repairs to commute to work.
  • $1,000 keeps a family facing eviction housed.
Your gift will make a difference. Thank you from all of us at Innovative Changes for your generosity this holiday season.

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In This Issue
Marta's Story
Partner Highlight: Hacienda
Financial Education Galore!
Partnership and Volunteer Opportunities
You Can Help!
Quick Stats
New Partners
Quick Stats
As of 6/9/2011



226, averaging $465.49 for a total of $105,200

Revolved amount  

Repaid loans 55

Financial education clients

New Partners:
 Read the full list of our partners >  
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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.