Innovative Changes


Happy New Year!  We are excited to start another great year working with responsible borrowers, dedicated savers and wise spenders.  As part of our rejuvenation we have freshened up our mission statement: Innovative Changes helps people achieve long term financial health.  That's it.  Simple, easy to remember, to the point. 


We work to advance our mission every day as we lend funds to hard working individuals facing financial hardships and coach people as they navigate their journey to financial security. We love helping people save money and build their credit score.  This year we are expanding our credit builder loan program and enhancing our coaching services.  We are offering our programs to youth and young adults and we are growing our board of directors.   


You can join us in our work by encouraging your co-workers, family and friends to access our financial products and services. Forward this email someone and encourage them to check out our website. We are always happy to have folks give us a call to discuss the various ways we can work with them. And thank you; for your support and encouragement - it means the world to us! 


All the best,


Nancy Yuill

Dan's Story


Dan came to Innovative Changes by way of Mercy Corps' Reentry Transition Center (RTC). Readjusting to life outside of prison, he was searching for the right support to get keep his life on track. Facing barriers to employment, a post secondary degree seemed like a step in the right direction, so Dan enrolled in the Reentry Transition Center's Individual Development Account program to save money for school. Innovative Changes provides financial education and case management for the RTC savers, so in order to fulfill his IDA requirements, Dan proactively signed up for Innovative Changes' Financial Household Resiliency series.


The workshops helped Dan start to budget his money. "There's the natural tendency to not pay attention to what's happening with your money," Dan reflects. "Without budgeting, my money was flowing in and out with no direction. This often meant that it was going towards wasteful things. Now, I keep track of my money and the wastefulness doesn't happen; I am staying on top of my bills."


Dan started by tracking his cash flow on a word document. He realized that some days he was spending over $7 on energy drinks. This was amounting to over $200 a month, on something that he didn't even like that much! Dan cut this spending leak out of his budget and it has made a big difference. Keep reading Dan's Story here.


Financial Empowerment Clinic


With the New Year, comes new opportunities to better your financial situation. There is no time like the present to start taking steps to decrease financial stress at our upcoming Financial Empowerment Clinic, Saturday, February 8th from 10am-3pm at the Rosewood Initiative, 16126 SE Stark St.


Workshop Schedule:

10:15-11am Making the Most of Tax Time

11:15am-12pm Ask a Planner Anything!

12:15-1pm: What You Need to Know About Preventing or Dealing with a Foreclosure

1:15pm-2pm: Tackling Your Student Loans

2:15pm-3pm: Saving Money & Managing Debt


All Day: Pull your personal credit report or meet with a financial planner, raffle prizes, refreshments, kid-friendly activities and access to other community resources. 


Visit our website for more information on this event.

Referring Partner Corner
Referring Partner Orientation: Interested in referring 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 Thursday, January 16th from 10:30 am -11:30am. If you or your coworkers are interested in participating please register  here
Referring Partner Lunch: Want to learn more about the world of credit and debt collections? We are here to answer your questions! At this lunch discussion on Friday, February 28th 12-1:30pm, you ask the questions and we will aim to provide you with the most up to date information possible. Lunch provided, limited space available. You can register here
Quick Links
Quick Stats: 
As of 1/13/14


Total disbursed:
# Repaid:
583, averaging $454.83


It's a Wonderful Life: Lending for the Community


A favorite tradition in my household growing up was to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" on Christmas Eve.  It is my Dad's favorite movie and as a child he wanted us to become familiar with the greater theme of the movie. However, since the movie was black and white and I had to watch it every year, rather than concentrate on the theme, usually there was just a whole lot of grumbling on my part.


This Christmas, I saw a live performance of "It's a Wonderful Life".  After the show I was awe struck; the greater theme did stick with me, not just because it was not in black and white, but because of my experience in the lending program at Innovative Changes. Keep reading here.

Partner Spotlight: Alescia Blakely, Home Forward 

Since our early days at our first office on Trenton Street at New Columbia, IC$' roots have been inextricably intertwined with the residents and staff in that community. Over the past year we facilitated several Financial Household Resiliency series including one series specifically for Somali immigrants, Women's Financial Empowerment Groups and seminars at New Columbia. Every time we go up there, it is inspiring to see the progress some of our first clients have made and the buzz around new programs and activities implemented by the Home Forward staff. One of those key staff members in Alescia Blakely. Working late hours, Alescia always has a smile on her face and is consistently in touch with the complex challenges faced by her residents. Keep reading for more on Alescia and the great work she is doing at New Columbia and Humboldt Gardens!


What is your job now and how has it changed over the years that you've been with Home Forward?

I am a Resident & Community Services/Site Based Goals Coordinator. I have held many jobs within the agency. My first job with Home Forward was as an Administrative Assistant for the Public Housing Department. I then worked as a Relocation Specialist, Community Builder, Opportunity Housing Initiative Coordinator and now a Goals Coordinator.  Keep reading here for more about Alescia and her work with Home Forward here. 


Get Matched up with a Financial Coach
Want to get in control of your money but aren't sure where to start? Do you know someone who would like extra accountability when working towards their financial goals? Sign up to get matched up with a financial coach.

This year we are growing our coaching program to reach more people through trained volunteer financial coaches.

Get connected with a coach today or find out about becoming a coach yourself by contacting or visiting our website.
Upcoming Workshops & Orientations
Next Financial Household Resiliency workshops will go for 4 Tuesdays in a row starting March 4th-25th, 5:30-7:30pm at our office, 2010 Lloyd Center. Register here.
Our next Credit Builder Orientations will be: Friday, January 24th from 12-1pm or Wednesday, February 5th from 5:30-6:30pm at our office, 2010 Lloyd Center. Register here.
Our next IDA Orientations will be Friday, February 7th from 10-11am or Thursday, February 20th from 5:30-6:30pm at our office, 2010 Lloyd Center. Register here.
About Us
We 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.
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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 to set up your monthly giving program.
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Thank you for your support!