Prosperity Center for Financial Opportunity Opens at 5151 Troost AvenueJune 14, 2013

 

The Prosperity Center for Financial Opportunity – a new resource for low- and moderate-income individuals and families – has opened its doors on the Rockhurst University campus.

Center efforts are designed to help clients increase their net income, credit scores, long-term job retention and net worth over time. Services focus on three primary areas: employment counseling and placement, financial education and coaching, and public benefits access.

The Prosperity Center is a collaborative partnership among Catholic Charities Kansas City-St. Joseph, Kansas City Full Employment Council, Greater Kansas City LISC, Rockhurst University, and United Way of Greater Kansas City.

The center, 5151 Troost Ave., Suite 100, is located in the Rockhurst University North Parking Garage, a multiuse facility with storefronts along Troost intended to serve the surrounding community. 

“Being part of the life and growth of the city is central to our mission and the essence of who we are as a Jesuit university,” said the Rev. Thomas B. Curran, president of Rockhurst University. “We are pleased to offer this vital service to our neighbors and to continue our contributions to strengthening the historic Troost Avenue corridor.”

The Prosperity Center is part of a nationwide network of 70 Financial Opportunity Centers (FOC), and a LISC program model that is successfully helping families and individuals achieve economic stability in 30 other cities.  The Center is the first of three FOC sites that LISC will open in Kansas City over the next two years. 

“The LISC model has been successful in helping numerous people in other cities and we are eager to begin working with Kansas City residents to help them on a path toward financial independence and security,” said Kourtney Woodbury, director of the Prosperity Center.

The Prosperity Center will target residents located within the boundaries of the Urban Neighborhood Initiative – Troost Avenue to Highway 71 and 22nd Street to 52nd Street.

“Having the Prosperity Center based within our Urban Neighborhood Initiative boundaries is exactly the type of resource we envisioned having available for the residents there, providing them with the tools and information they need to improve their financial stability and economic situation,” said Brent Stewart, president and CEO, United Way of Greater Kansas City. “United Way is proud to have helped develop this innovative center, which is a wonderful example of our mission to provide everyone in our community with the building blocks they need for a good life: education, income and health.”

National data show that the LISC model changes lives. It has earned a track record as a proven program helping approximately 30,000 individuals move away from living paycheck to paycheck to achieving real economic stability. Nearly 75 percent of participants who commit to working with a financial coach improved their monthly cash flow and net income. It has helped nearly 12,500 people get jobs; enabled nearly 10,000 to increase their net income; and helped more than 6,000 people improve their credit scores – key to greater and more affordable economic options for their families.

As a trusted intermediary and collaborative catalyst, LISC works with community stakeholders to select and fund FOC partnerships. 

“The Prosperity Center for Financial Opportunity is an excellent example of how three diverse organizations can unite to meet a pressing community need,” said Terri Mueller, LISC interim executive director. “Our ultimate goal is to put families on the path to more secure financial futures. When we help them stabilize their long-term financial outlook, we help stabilize our urban neighborhoods, which will benefit all of Kansas City.”

Bank of America is the lead funding partner helping LISC launch the FOC Network in Kansas City.  “Bank of America is an ardent believer in the idea that individuals and families should have the tools and capabilities to budget and financially plan for their future, and these important ideals embody the LISC FOC model,” said Spence Heddens, Kansas City president for Bank of America. “Our support for the FOCs demonstrates efforts by Bank of America to help Kansas City’s economy continue to recover and provide local communities with job training and career services to create and grow employment opportunities.” 

All Prosperity Center services are offered free of charge. For more information, or to make an appointment, call 816-501-4239.

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