United Way Opens ‘Prosperity Center’ on Northshore

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NEW ORLEANS – United Way of Southeast Louisiana has opened the doors to its new Northshore Prosperity Center located in Covington next to the Northshore Food Bank Resale Shop.

“The pandemic has increased financial instability across the Northshore, and United Way is ready to respond thanks to the generous support of our donors and partners,” said Michael Williamson, UWSELA president and CEO. “The Northshore Prosperity Center will empower struggling households to achieve financial stability, gain assets and overcome intergenerational poverty, leading to a stronger, more equitable community for us all.”

The center, located at 834 N. Colombia St., will apply a one-stop approach to help low-to-moderate income participants gain financial stability through 11 services, including:

  • financial education – group seminars covering a broad spectrum of financial topics
  • financial coaching – ongoing one-on-one interactions empowering participants to address short- to long-term financial issues
  • credit improvement – counseling services designed to identify and prioritize credit-building strategies
  • access to safe and affordable financial products – provide alternative options to high-cost financial service providers (e.g., check cashers, payday lenders)
  • access to federal and state benefits – comprehensive screening to determine federal and state benefit eligibility for participants
  • free tax preparation assistance (VITA) – inclusive tax preparation services integrated with financial education
  • incentivized savings – match-savings program designed to encourage savings behavior for specified assets
  • asset ownership programs (IDA) – wealth-building programming designed to help participants purchase and maintain assets, such as a home, business, or obtaining an education
  • workforce development soft skills – a combination of soft skills training that enables participants to navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well and achieve employment

Financial education, IDA and VITA will be available to the public, while additional programming will be provided through partner referrals.

“The Northshore Prosperity Center is a welcome resource for so many of our citizens who were hard hit by COVID-19 and for those who were struggling well before the pandemic impacted St. Tammany,” said St. Tamany Parish President Mike Cooper. “I want to thank United Way of Southeast Louisiana for their commitment to our community and for their tireless work to ensure every household in need has access to the tools that will help them create a strong, renewed path to a better life.”

The center will target the 48% of households in St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes living below the ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Threshold.

Households below the ALICE threshold do not earn enough money to afford a basic survival budget, including housing, transportation, health care, child care, food and technology, or save for an emergency.

Call (985) 224-6580 or visit UnitedWaySELA.org/ProsperityCenter to learn more.

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