Financial Empowerment

Collaborative for Neighborhood Financial Health

Collaborative for Neighborhood Financial Health (Department of Consumers Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment)

Since their launch in 2008, Financial Empowerment Centers have provided free one-on-one financial advice and guidance to more than 35,000 New Yorkers at nearly 30 sites citywide. However, despite this success, Financial Empowerment Center have served far fewer than those in need. To address this service gap and execute neighborhood-level financial health interventions – which are often key to individual residents’ financial health – the Mayor’s Fund and Department of Consumers Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) have created the Collaborative for Neighborhood Financial Health to design and manage a community engagement process that promotes positive neighborhood financial health outcomes.

Learn more about financial counseling currently available through the Office of Financial Empowerment.


Designing for Financial Empowerment

Designing for Financial Empowerment (Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment, Center for Economic Opportunity & Parsons’ Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability Lab)

In 2014, with the support of Citi Community Development, the Mayor's Fund, Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE), Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) and Parsons' Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability (DESIS) Lab launched Designing for Financial Empowerment, a cross-sector initiative to explore how service design can be used to integrate financial empowerment services into existing human services. This landmark program envisions New York City and other large urban areas challenging the cycle of poverty by holistically examining current public policy and service offerings; identifying the interrelated needs of the most vulnerable populations; and enabling community members to participate in the co-design and prototyping of the very services that they use. In the first phase of the initiative, Designing for Financial Empowerment helped to uncover factors that may explain why many qualified New Yorkers have not taken advantage of New York City's free tax preparation services, enabling the city to improve access to this vital assistance.

Learn more about Designing for Financial Empowerment.


Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing and Financial Counseling (Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment)

The Mayor’s Fund is supporting the Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) in conducting a study of affordable housing applicants who cannot move forward with their applications for financed housing through the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) or the Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) due to inaccurate income reporting or poor credit. Through qualitative analysis and interviews with people involved with all aspects of the marketing and lease-up process, OFE and HPD hope to have a better understanding of these issues and be able to better educate applicants on how to prepare to be successful renters, especially as HPD prepares to develop the next version of its online housing marketing portal and its marketing procedures more broadly.

Learn more about financial counseling currently available through the Office of Financial Empowerment.


Remote Financial Counseling

Remote Financial Counseling (Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment & Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation)

As a way to further increase the number of New Yorkers who receive financial counseling, the Mayor’s Fund and the Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) obtained the support of Capital One to develop a remote financial counseling program. The program may include the ability for clients to receive financial counseling by video chat, a website to complete and transfer financial counseling forms and documents securely online. and a means to seamlessly transfer client data to OFE’s existing database. The Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (BSRC) – one of the best performing Financial Empowerment Centers – will be implementing the remote counseling services pilot.

Learn more about financial counseling currently available through the Office of Financial Empowerment, and learn more about the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.


Homebase Image

Housing Help (Department of Homeless Services)

The Housing Help Program is a component of the Department of Homeless Services' Homebase program, working to combat housing instability and prevent homelessness by providing families facing eviction with comprehensive court-based and neighborhood-based supports – including legal, financial, and social services. With help from the Robin Hood Foundation, the Mayor's Fund is supporting this program in the Bronx, with case management and arrears assistance provided by the Legal Aid Society and BronxWorks. Housing Help also operates in Brooklyn, through the Legal Society.

Learn more about the Homebase program on the Department of Homeless Services' website.


Project Rise

Project Rise (Center for Economic Opportunity, Young Men’s Initiative & Corporation for National & Community Service)

Funded by a 2010 Social Innovation Fund grant from the federal Corporation for National & Community Service, Project Rise provides educational and employment opportunities to low-income young people between the ages of 18 and 24 who are out of work and school. The program places eligible young people in a paid internship conditioned on regular attendance in educational classes, while providing them with job readiness preparation and strong individualized case management. Project Rise aims to help participants transition from lower educational levels into a GED program, earn a GED, or even obtain employment in a full-time job, all of which build new pathways to stability. There are Project Rise sites in three cities – New York City, Kansas City, and Newark.

Learn more about Project Rise on the Center for Economic Opportunity's website.


Jobs-Plus

Jobs-Plus (Center for Economic Opportunity, Young Men’s Initiative & Corporation for National & Community Service)

Launched in New York City in 2009, Jobs-Plus is a public housing-based employment program designed to increase the level of earnings and employment among residents of public housing. The program saturates developments with job and career support, rent-based and other financial incentives that "make work pay," and community organizing activities that support a culture of work. Jobs-Plus aims to increase earning and employment outcomes not merely for residents who directly receive program services, but for whole public housing communities. Thanks to a 2010 Social Innovation Fund award from the federal Corporation for National and Community Service, Jobs-Plus has since been implemented at a total of 10 sites across New York City and San Antonio, Texas. Jobs-Plus is currently being replicated nationwide by the federal government.

Learn more about Jobs-Plus on the Center for Economic Opportunity's website.


WorkAdvance

WorkAdvance (Center for Economic Opportunity & Corporation for National & Community Service)

WorkAdvance seeks to boost the earnings of unemployed and low-wage working adults by helping them obtain quality jobs in targeted sectors with opportunities for career growth, preparing, training and placing eligible participants in good quality jobs with established career tracks. After placement, the program continues to assist participants to help them advance in their chosen careers. Supported by a 2010 Social Innovation Fund award from the federal Corporation for National & Community Service, WorkAdvance sites are located in New York City, Cleveland, Youngstown, and Tulsa.

Learn more about WorkAdvance on the Center for Economic Opportunity's website.


Workforce1 Veterans Career Center

Workforce1 Veterans Career Center (Department of Small Business Services)

In July 2012, the Mayor’s Fund and Department of Small Business Services opened a dedicated Workforce1 Veterans Career Center. This public-private partnership offers intensive career services, with veterans on staff to provide expertise specific to the veteran community, such as how to position and translate military experience for the civilian workforce. Center staff maintains relationships with veteran-serving organizations and with employers committed to hiring veterans. The City also provides priority job placement services for veterans at all Workforce1 Centers throughout the five boroughs.

Learn more about the Veterans Career Center on the Workforce1 website.

 

Make a Donation