Financial Opportunity Center
SER Jobs for Progress Financial Opportunity Center/THRIVE is a career, job readiness, education, training and personal financial services center that focuses on the financial bottom line for low-to-moderate income individuals. At SER this means we want our clients to THRIVE. FOC/THRIVE is changing people's financial behavior in a way that encourages them to make a long-term commitment to increasing income, building savings and acquiring assets. SER’s FOC/THRIVE provides families with bundled services across the following areas:
- Employment Placement and Career Improvement
- Financial Education and Coaching
- Public Benefits Access
- Education and Training
SER FOC/THRIVE Employment Services:
Work and the ability to find or transition to good jobs is one of the most important aspects of a family's financial security. SER/THRIVE incorporates basic job readiness soft-skills training, hard skills training, and/or career advancement and job matching. The employment component of SER’s FOC/THRIVE clients strongly encourages them to participate in financial coaching and public benefits access.
SER FOC/THRIVE Financial Education and Coaching:
At SER we believe economic stability is something that all families strive to achieve and through our FOC/THRIVE services we offer group-based financial education, which provides general information on a range of topics, such as budgeting, and developing savings plans; 2) one-on-one financial counseling with a financial coach, which focuses on solving specific problems or crises, such as high debt or eviction prevention.
The goal of coaching is not only to help clients fix an immediate problem, but to establish a vision to achieve long-term economic stability by changing financial behavior over time and to hold our clients accountable for achieving those goals. The coach's ongoing encouragement and support helps to make it easier for our clients to stay on a consistent asset building course that leads to economic stability.
SER FOC/THRIVE Public Benefits Access:
In some cases SER’s FOC/THRIVE clients are employed, but their wages and benefits are insufficient to meet their daily needs. Public benefits can play a key role in helping working families cover their everyday living expenses. SER’s Income Support coach helps people understand what they qualify for as well as navigating them through to the end of the process including complete application(s) correctly.
SER FOC/THRIVE Bundled Services:
SER’s FOC/THRIVE offers a variety of services that allow individuals and families to choose for themselves what they want to receive and clients are not expected to use more than one service. At SER we have demonstrated that families who receive more than one service are more likely to achieve economic stability. The bundling of SER services with training and education is very deliberate and happens through the design of our FOC/THRIVE program. SER has dedicated, caring, professional staff and interactions so that our clients receive not only employment counseling but financial education and coaching as well as public benefits access.
For additional information please contact:
David Fernandez, Program Coordinator, 713-773-6000 ext. 146
Carmela Walker, Workforce Development Lead / Financial Coach, 713-773-6000 ext. 164
Kelli Wesley, Financial Coach (LISC, AmeriCorps), 713-773-6000 ext. 121