Just 10 years ago, during one of the most uncertain financial times in the history of this country, the United Way Center for Financial Stability was created based on a community need. Launched in partnership with Branches in October of 2009, the Center has helped thousands of families find their way.
Aimed to help individuals and families stabilize after the recession, more than 31,000 in our community have been helped through our Center. But our work is far from over. As cost of living continues to outpace Median Household Income, the need for strategic programming is as critical as ever. In fact, 520,000 households in Miami-Dade are struggling to make ends meet, according to the United Way ALICE Report.*
In order to expand reach and impact to meet community needs, the Center established the South Florida FinCap Ecosystem, an innovative network of partners who offer coordinated financial capability services throughout the community. When infusing financial empowerment tools and traditional social services, the Center creates a “super vitamin” effect – an approach that addresses barriers and ultimately enhances results.
With our United Way serving as the backbone of the FinCap Ecosystem, we facilitate coordinated services delivery throughout the community. In addition to the ecosystem, the Center leads other initiatives to help strengthen families, including Bank On Miami, a partnership that offers safe and affordable banking products and services; FinCap Academy, professional development opportunities supporting the integration of promising practices among local nonprofits and government agencies; and UW@WORK, an employer-based financial wellness program, where employees have access to a financial coach at their workplace.
From its first location at Branches in North Dade, the Center has since grown to three locations and various satellite sites, extending services throughout Miami-Dade County. The Center offers direct services while investing in community-wide collaborations that empower families to become more financially resilient. Services and support include one-on-one financial coaching, employment assistance, credit and debt management, a personalized plan to reach goals and build assets, and so much more. Regardless of income, zip code or circumstance, financial freedom is possible. With the Center, United Way’s goal is simple: to empower residents to feel informed and prepared to weather any kind of storm.
To give, advocate, volunteer or learn more about the Center, visit www.MiamiFinancialStability.org.
*The United Way ALICE Report (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) shines a light on the growing number of working families who are playing by the rules yet are one emergency away from poverty.