Posted by: mrobayna | January 12, 2012

Representative Capuano Launches CONNECT: A Collaboration of Six Nonprofits to Integrate Resources to Achieve Financial Goals


Too many working families are caught in the trap of chronic poverty. Tools that build wealth in more affluent communities, like homeownership and higher education, are often out of reach. On January 19th, Representative Michael Capuano will deliver a keynote to launch the collaboration called CONNECT, a new blueprint for building family economic security.

“Residents are facing a wide variety of challenges today: A highly competitive job market, isolated adult education and job training services, a lack of social capital. Those challenges are compounded for recent immigrants who may be completely unfamiliar with US banking systems and are still learning English,” explains Ann Houston, Executive Director of Chelsea Neighborhood Developers. “CONNECT builds on the partners’ deep experience and creates a new opportunity for families to integrate a network of services to achieve economic security.”

Six of Chelsea’s most respected community organizations have come together to co-locate and bundle their services, leveraging existing resources to support transformative economic mobility for low-income families. CONNECT will provide traditional workforce development support from CareerSource, Centro Latino, and Bunker Hill Community College in coordination with asset development and housing services from Chelsea Neighborhood Developers, Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership, and Metro Credit Union.  The CONNECT partners recognize that achieving the American dream of economic security is hard work, but believe low-income and immigrant families can break out of poverty with financial services, education and employment resources.

CONNECT’s “bundled” model of services is based on proven models for client success. The earliest supporters of the project include local and national funders who have developed a body of knowledge on what it takes for low-income households to overcome economic obstacles.  These funders include Boston LISC, Catalyst Fund for Non-Profits, Citi Foundation, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, National Credit Union Foundation, NeighborWorks America, and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley .

A core component of CONNECT’s model is creating a place where peers c
an gather to talk and help each other reach their financial goals. “When you’re surrounded by people who want to go for the goal, it gives the opportunity for the other person to say, ‘if they can do it, I can do it too.’ Now let’s do it!” says a five year participant in Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership programs.

The launch of CONNECT is comprised of two events on January 19th, starting with a free afternoon symposium examining the economic challenges facing low-income Massachusetts residents and best practices for cost effective service delivery. In the evening, Representative Capuano will provide keynote remarks at a cocktail reception. To register for both events visit launchconnect.eventbrite.com.

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