Financial Opportunity Center in Action

Sept. 18, 2020

In July, we made the official public announcement that NeighborWorks Umpqua was making a big organizational shift to the Financial Opportunity Center model; today we are more certain than ever that this was the absolute right move for NWU! Staff have been going through various trainings, receiving phone calls for help, and learning more about the FOC model itself. The transition is a learning process. Together, we have accomplished so much already, including coaches training with our consultant, Blooming Willow. This training is providing guidance, reflection, and an important pivot point from program-centered counseling to person-centered coaching.

A few weeks ago we had an opportunity to test-drive our FOC with a challenging customer situation. Our Customer Navigator, Sharon McMahon, received a call from a customer interested in a mobile home replacement program. Sharon connected the customer to a coach, and we walked through the FOC process, which resulted in a call to our partners Community United Resource Network (CURN) and Umpqua Community Action Network (UCAN). They quickly provided us with several options to assist the customer, who is now also improving their financial health through our FOC. Finding what the customer needs and helping to deliver support in a way that makes sense to the individual is at the heart of our commitment to this new model.

tax help

Sharon consults with customers daily from her home office.