Our board and staff met earlier this month to start charting our vision for the future of Innovative Changes. It's such an exciting time for our organization, as we focus on well planned growth and the continued cultivation of strong partnerships.
We are blessed to be able to ground our work in the principle of partnership, working with those who share our commitment to helping people move along the path to improved household financial stability. We could not do this work alone, nor would we want to. What makes our work impactful is the unions that are forged as we all come together to help one another. This month we feature Neighborhood Partnerships, one of our strong partners who is taking a holistic, systematic approach to weave together programs and policies that result in stronger families and more resilient communities across Oregon.
Every day, we work with people who are determined to improve their situation, like this month's client story about Kim, and we are honored to be able to walk beside them on their journey. As President Obama said in his acceptance speech, "America's never been about what can be done for us. It's about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That's the principle we were founded on." It's an inspiring vision, coming together to share the hard work so we can all carry on a bit stronger, with hope for a brighter future.
All the best,
Kim is one of IC$' many proactive coaching clients. Kim first heard about IC$ last year. She saw an advertisement for our student loan seminar on CNRG. She found the information at the seminar informative and helpful as she worked to find a payment plan that worked for her.
At the seminar, Kim learned that IC$ also provides one-on-one financial coaching. She has been dedicated to making her student loans current and to find a payment plan that would fit into her budget but found that the process was overwhelming and she knew she would benefit from the support and attention that one-on-one coaching provides.
Kim has used her coaching sessions to the maximum. Before each session she identifies exactly what it is that she feels that she can realistically accomplish that would make her feel good about herself and her progress. Her first step was to just bringing in her unopened mail which had been piling up in her house. Kim and her coach Emmy sat down together to organize her mail. "I knew that I needed to get consistent help." Kim has made weekly appointments with Emmy and each week they focus on taking one step towards tackling her student loans.
Kim views getting her student loans in order as a "big project" that she has completed. Now that she is in a place where she feels in control of that debt, she feels that she is able to tackle other financial mountains with strength, patience and confidence. She recently took a workshop with IC$ on budgeting and saving and is now working on incorporating certain techniques into her life. She said that taking the classes has helped her start the conversation of household budgeting with her boyfriend and they are currently working on their finances together.
Kim's long-term goals are to continue her education, perhaps own her own business someday and to own a home. She has already hit the ground running on these long term goals by setting short-term savings goals and creating a spending plan.
Kim's story exemplifies the overwhelming stress that student loan debt causes in our lives and how every step you take, no matter how small, is a testament to yourself and the world that you are taking control of your financial future. We are so proud of Kim and look forward to working with her as she tackles her future goals.
|Partner Spotlight: Janet Byrd, Neighborhood Partnerships
Neighborhood Partnerships (NP)was one of the early supporters of IC$ offering IDAs. Now that the program is up and running, we have gotten the chance to become part of their Oregon IDA Initiative, participate in larger conversations around state-wide household financial resiliency, and even visit Oregon legislature with their guidance in DC! We admire the big picture work that NP is doing, so this month we bring you a spotlight of NP's Executive Directory Janet Byrd. Enjoy!
What is your role at NP?
I'm the Executive Director at Neighborhood Partnerships. I started work for NP in 2003 as a Policy Coordinator, and became Interim ED in 2004 and permanent ED in March 2005. I am actively engaged in all aspects of our work, but spend a significant amount of my time on the policy and communications work that we do.
What drew you to this work?
I come from a background of community organizing. I worked extensively on housing issues in Chicago, from tenant rights to insurance redlining. I was exposed to some amazing coalitions during my time in Chicago, and really became aware of the power of communities when they engage with one another to promote change.I focused my work on housing early on in my career, because I see housing as a foundation for the health and opportunity of individuals as well as the vitality of communities.
What are you most excited about in the work that you are doing right now?
I'm really excited about my work in recent years to promote access to pathways of opportunity by advancing a coordinated policy agenda across a broad range of issues. NP's work as a partner to CFED, The Corporation for Enterprise Development, has been especially exciting. The CFED Household Financial Security Framework offers us a way to connect the dots between all of our work, as well as among and between our many partner organizations.
NP has convened the Housing Alliance since 2004, and we remain very focused on housing. We also see the importance of building financial assets, increasing household earning power, strengthening the system of basic family supports, and protecting consumers. NP has always been an organization that takes a broad view and a systems approach, and I am pleased to be able to continue that.
I also love the strategic communications work that NP is engaged in, and the chance it offers me to help advocates work collaboratively and to maximum effect. I have seen the power of communications in advancing the Housing Alliance agenda, and am excited to have the ability to revitalize communications around housing as well as our other core issues.
I especially love our work's focus on creating a longer term, non-partisan conversation about how we create the Oregon we want to see.
It sounds like there is a lot that you are excited about! How does IC$' work fit in with NP?
IC$ is a valued partner in the Oregon IDA Initiative, which NP manages on behalf of the state. The Oregon IDA Initiative is a proven approach which provides access to financial education and matching funds to help Oregonians achieve their dream of owning a home, starting a small business, or continuing their education. This successful collaborative effort provides the skills and funds to help rebuild Oregon's middle class, and, in the process, rebuild Oregon.
IC$ is also a valued partner in our policy efforts, as it is engaged in thinking about what the next step should be in advancing household financial security. IC$ works to identify consumer needs and issues and to think about new products, approaches and necessary protections.
|Financial Education Galore:
We have completed our last Financial Household Resiliency classes of the year, but do not fear, they will start back up again mid-January, once you have eased in to the New Year! It's not too late to join us at one of our Surviving the Holidays Debt Free seminars at a library near you! Read below for the details!
Upcoming Financial Household Resiliency (FHR) Workshops:
January Financial Household Resiliency Series
Tuesday, January 15th, 5:30-7:30 pm: Making Ends Meet
Tuesday, January 22nd, 5:30-7:30 pm: Budgeting and Saving
Tuesday, January 29th 5:30-7:30 pm: Hands-On Banking
Tuesday, February 5th 5:30-7:30 pm: Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit
These classes will be held at our Lloyd Center office on the 3rd floor of the Lloyd Center Mall (between Nordstroms and the food court), 2010 Lloyd Center.The classes can be taken individually or as a series. They are $5 each and $15 for all four classes. Fee waivers are available for those who qualify. To Register: visit our website or call or email Misha at (503)-249-5205/ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Surviving the Holidays Debt Free!
Saturday, November 10th, Midland Library, 805 SE 122nd Ave, 10:30-11:30am
Wednesday, November 14th, Kenton Library, 8226 North Denver Ave, 6-7pm
During the holiday season family, festivities and fun can also bring stress. This seminar will equip you and your family with tools and resources to tackle the holiday season with minimal stress. We will discuss topics such as: managing holiday stress, saving and budgeting for the holidays, figuring out what the holidays mean to you and how to bring your family together during the holidays in a low cost way. We will also have information on holiday resources (food, gifts, clothes...etc) to help get you through this time. So come, bring your family and start taking steps to get through the holiday season in an enjoyable way! No cost and no registration required!
Making the Most of Tax Time
Tuesday, January 8th, 5:30-630pm, 2010 Lloyd Center Mall
Tax time brings a window of opportunity. With the added boost to your budget from a tax return you can start paying off some debts that you've been worrying about, check off items from your wish list, or set up a savings account for your child's college education....the possibilities are endless! However, it's important to remember, even with this extra money, planning is key to using it effectively. We will cover topics such as the mechanics of getting a tax return, how to wisely budget and save your tax return, Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs), Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) and more!
To Register: visit our website or call or email Misha at (503)-249-5205/ email@example.com.
|Going Back to School Just Got a Little Easier: Enroll in the IC$ Education IDA Today!
The IC$ IDA program offers a 3:1 match for those saving to attend an institution of higher education. Savers must put at least $25 into an account every month, complete financial education requirements and plan to go back to school or already be attending school. Savers can save for themselves or a loved one.
If you are interested in the IDA program, or know someone who may be interested, call us today!
For more information about the IDA program visit our website.
Referring Partner Orientation
Would you like to become a partner of Innovative Changes? Interested in refering clients for our loans, financial education and individual coaching sessions? Want to learn more about our programs? Attend our Referring Partner Orientation webinar.
The webinar orientation will take place on Wednesday, December 12th from 10:30-11:30am. If you or your coworkers are interested in participating please register here: https://student.gototraining.com/r/4198600945265450496
This orientation is required for anyone who would like to refer clients for Innovative Changes (IC$) loans and a great way to get to know more about IC$. During the webinar we will go through IC$ programs and services, walk you through the process of referring a client and discuss what happens after you make a referral.
You Can Help!
You care about helping people achieve and maintain household stability. Now you can join our efforts at Innovative Changes as we expand our reach to serve more clients. Your generous donation will be put to good use!
Whatever amount you can afford, you can set it up for monthly automatic payments to ease your cash flow. If you have bill pay service with your bank you can set up Innovative Changes to receive regular monthly payments. If you prefer, we can process a monthly ACH transaction on your behalf. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your monthly giving program.
Thank you for your support!
As of 11/8/2012
433, averaging $469.53 for a total of $203,693.72
Revolved amount: $149, 197.18
Repaid loans: 226
Financial education clients: