January 2015


Financial stability doesn't just happen on its own.  It takes personal persistence, positive peer support and an enabling environment.  Every day we get to engage with hard working people who are doing their utmost to manage their finances, save for a rainy day and achieve their long term goals.  Our classes, coaching and peer groups create a welcoming, and fun, place where people can gain new skills and knowledge while affirming what they already do well.  Increasingly we are working on system change to create a more enabling environment.  We have an amazing opportunity in the Oregon 2015 legislative session to renew and strengthen our leading asset building program, the individual development account (IDA).  The Oregon IDA Initiative has a powerful three pronged strategy to help hardworking Oregonians with low incomes build savings habits, learn financial skills and own assets that will keep their futures secure. We are asking for your support as we move to extend, increase and expand the Oregon IDA Initiative.  Learn more here, and please sign the petition, spread the word and show your support!  


All the best,


Nancy Yuill

Join our team!

Innovative Changes is excited to be accepting applications for our newest full-time staff position, Financial Capabilities Program Manager. The financial capabilities program manager is at the forefront of expanding our financial capabilities services to reach more people with our comprehensive suite of financial products and services. Financial capability involves a combination of knowledge, skill, and access. Financially capable consumers possess the knowledge to manage financial resources effectively; the skills to exercise behaviors that lead to financial health; and access to high-quality financial products and services. You will work with our team of dedicated staff and volunteers to deliver high quality training, coaching, and complementary financial products and services at our Lloyd Center Mall location and across the tri-county area.


Find out more about the position and how to apply on our website!

smart goals2Credit Builder Success Story


Alicia came to Innovative Changes with the goals of buying a house in the next two years and either saving enough money or improving her credit to finance eye surgery. With no credit history and no credit score, she knew she couldn't qualify for financing. She not only took out a credit builder loan, but also took to heart all she learned in the credit builder orientation and credit coaching and obtained credit cards to round out her credit report. By having several active credit lines, using her cards sparingly, and making all payments on time, in just 6 months Alicia went from no score to a score around 700! Congratulations, Alicia!


Are you interested in building YOUR credit to qualify for a mortgage or another credit goal? Attend a credit builder loan orientation! Orientations are offered once a week and once month in Spanish!

BAH logo Come to the Financial Empowerment Clinic in January!


Join us Saturday January 31st from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at our partner, Bradley Angle's Resource Center at 5432 N. Albina Ave., Portland, OR 97217!

We will have information on preparing your taxes, FAFSA, Education IDAs, protecting yourself against garnishments, and much more! We will have food, child care and raffles! View our flier for the event here.

Community Member Spotlight: Sarah Loepker


This month we bring you an interview with our wonderful community member Sarah Loepker. We first got to know Sarah because of her work at PCC. She has welcomed IC$ staff into her classroom to talk about our services and present information to her students. 


What is your role at Portland Community College and what drew you to this work?

I am a Financial Aid Coordinator and Part Time Faculty.  I administer several grant programs, advise students and teach a class called Financial Survival.  My mom works in a college so I think that is what first interested me in working in higher education.  I love my job and really enjoy assisting students in meeting their educational goals.  Working with community college students is especially rewarding and I am constantly inspired by the students I meet at PCC.


What are some of the most common financial problems faced by the students you work with?
Several of the students I work with are low income and are struggling to support themselves and their families.  These students have worked or are working at low wage jobs and see getting a college education as a step to better job opportunities and economic stability.  Many of these students rely on loans to help cover their living expenses so they are accumulating a large amount of student loan debt.  It is getting harder for students to make ends meet as the cost of living in Portland just keeps getting higher.  Another common issue is poor credit history, and I am shocked to see how many students have poor credit due to old medical bills. 

How does Innovative Changes' work connect with PCC's mission and services?


Continue reading about Sarah here!

Meet our new intern Daniel!


Daniel started working with us just before the holidays. He has studied at PCC and PSU and came to us through the IRCO Work Experience for Youth program.


What drew you to this position at Innovative Changes?

What drew me to Innovative Changes? Well, I had just finished the Job Readiness Training class at New Avenues for Youth and I heard about this program called Work Experience for Youth (WEXY) through IRCO and thought it sounded like a good idea to help me explore my career possibilities. When I went in for the initial intake appointment, after overhearing me talk about my finance background at PSU, one of my caseworker's co-workers who sits right next to her mentioned that Innovative Changes had an intern that was just about to finish and that they would be looking for someone very soon. As soon as I heard the name my eyes lit up because creating "innovative changes" is what I'm all about. There are a lot of problems facing society right now and I believe it's my generation's job to fix them or else we're pretty much doomed if things don't change in a major way soon. 


Continue reading about Daniel here!

Want to volunteer with IC$? Become a Financial Coach!
Volunteer financial coaches work one on one with clients to teach personal financial management skills as well as engage and motivate clients to stay on track toward their goals. Our next volunteer Financial Coach training will be Feb. 7th from 9am-4pm
 in the Magnolia Apartment Community Room at 3250 NE MLK Blvd. Portland, OR 97212. 

Learn more about becoming a coach here or contact Andrea at andrea@innovativechanges.org.
Upcoming Workshops & Orientations
The next Financial Household Resiliency workshops will be:


- Tuesday evenings, 5:30-7:30pm, January 6th-27th.

- Tuesday evenings, 5:30-7:30pm, February 3rd-24th.

 -Friday mornings, 10:00am-12:00pm February 6th-27th.


This workshop series will be held at our office in 2010 Lloyd Center Mall. You can register for the classes here.

 Our next Credit Builder Orientations will be:


- Thursday, January 8th 5:30-6:30 pm

- Friday, January 16th 1-2 pm

- (SPANISH) Jueves, 22 de enero 5:30-6:30 pm

- Friday, January 30th 1-2 pm


 All take place at our office, 2010 Lloyd Center.  Register here.


Quick Stats:
As of 1/7/2015
Total disbursed:
Financial Education Clients: 3,164
IDA Savers: 94
IDA Graduates:
IDA Wait List:
IDA Interest: 
About Us
Our inter-related programs of responsible lending, credit building, financial education and savings acceleration build people's financial capabilities and put them on the path to long term financial health.  Join us in our work!

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 contact@innovativechanges.org to set up your monthly giving program.


Thank you for your support!

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