By Sabrina Romano
The Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania and Northside Common Ministries (NCM) recently opened the Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) in NCM’s space at 1601 Brighton Road in California-Kirkbride. The FOC provides a variety of employment and financial services to low-income community members and families.
At the FOC, employment specialists assist individuals in navigating the job market. Families in need have access to income support specialists, who help them receive welfare services, such as food stamps and Utility Assistance. Also, financial counselors are available to help families and individuals manage their money.
The FOC is available Monday-Friday from 12-3 p.m.
“We have a full time employment specialist and the other two positions are at this point part-time,” NCM director Jay Polizani said.
The Hillman Foundation, the Buhl Foundation, the Roy A. Hunt Foundation, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation provided a full year’s worth of funding for the FOC.
Neighborhood Allies began the program and asked NCM to host it and is guiding the NCM in this endeavor.
Polizani explained that the FOC was a way for the organization to expand its programming.
“NCM has for over 30 years been an excellent resource for individuals in need of immediate assistance with food and shelter,” Polizani said. “What we have not done so well is to provide people with the tools they need to reach the next step and pull themselves out of the cycle of need for the services we provide.
“The FOC model allows us to do just that—help people move beyond the cycle of dependence on social services and fully stand on their own.”
For more information about the NCM and the services it provides visit the official website.