Financial Opportunity Centers—Help Grow Your Money

. January 3, 2019.
michael-longmire-681745-unsplash

The coaches at Lucas County’s Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs) are one of Northwest Ohio’s best kept secrets. Working one-on-one, the coaches help clients reach financial goals like getting out of debt, boosting savings or improving their credit scores.

Financial Opportunity Centers in the Toledo area have been operating since 2009, funded by Toledo LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) and other community partners. The Centers provide services to improve the finances of people in the local area with coaching and classes free of charge and open to everyone.

“Typically, clients come in with a long term goal. The coach helps to break those down into short term goals,” says Michelle Gorsuch, a coach and the manager of the ProMedica Ebeid FOC downtown. “The client should know their total net income—and their total expenditures. People should also be aware of any government benefits they are receiving. The biggest obstacle to financial stability is not knowing how much money is coming in or going out.”

Michelle Gorsuch, a coach and the manager  of a downtown Financial Opportunity Center.

Michelle Gorsuch, a coach and the manager of a downtown Financial Opportunity Center.

Help with job skills

Often, in the course of counseling, coaches will recognize and identify benefits that the client may be eligible to receive. In those cases, coaches will assist in scheduling an intake with other agencies, help fill out forms, and make sure that the individual brings the necessary documentation so that their appointment is a success. Coaches can help with financial applications from banks, or other interactions with financial institutions. They can review a client’s credit report, help them check for accuracy and help in fixing mistakes and improving their credit score.

Besides one-on-one coaching, there are classes in money management, budgeting, the “soft skills” needed to get and hold jobs, resume writing, even a class on small scale investing. For people seeking work promotions or looking to re-enter the workplace, there are classes and certifications that can be achieved.

Be good to yourself

Gorsuch’s mission is to instill her clients with hope. “We tell people coming in that no matter what their financial hardships are, there is always a way to fix it.”

Also, she encourages clients to be good to themselves. “When budgeting,” says Gorsuch, “make sure you have the ability to treat yourself. We can put that in the budget. You need to give yourself a break.”

To find a coach or class, contact the Financial Opportunity Centers: Ebeid FOC, 567-585-0059; ONE Village FOC, 419-724-5640, East Family Center, 419-691-1429, Crossroads FOC, 419-475-3258.

Trending

Housekeeping & Tips for Spring Cleaning

Housekeeping Is An Art By Patricia M. Johnson Housekeeping is truly an art; but is not always fun. It takes physical effort for all of that work. These tips can help to ease the chores. Always wipe baseboards with a dry cloth, not a wet one when dusting or vacuuming your floor. Dust sticks to

Keep Walking to Better Health: Local Indoor Walking Venues

Snow, ice, rain and other safety issues are not a barrier to walking year-round. There are several FREE indoor walking venues in our community. Visit these locations to take advantage of the benefits of walking.

Our Handy Guide To Local Options And How To Avoid “Wishcycling”

With time winding down on The Doomsday Clock, there’s always time to review one of the most basic (but all-too-often botched) ways to make the world a better place: recycling. This guide to local recycling resources will get you started.

11 Perfect Dates: Show your love on Valentine’s (or any other) Day

Valentine’s Day gets an unfair rap. While many lament the consumerism associated with the “Hallmark Holiday’”— yet buy up discounted candy on February 15— we have a sweet spot for any day that inspires us to shower our loved ones with affection, chocolate and flowers. Fortunately, romance in Toledo doesn’t require a seasonal excuse, so to try out these date ideas, on Valentine’s Day, or any day.