The Financial Opportunity Center and Digital Navigator
Residents of Randolph, Barbour, Tucker, Upshur, and Lewis Counties now have access to more resources to learn about securing their financial security and increase their opportunities to access and develop technology-related skills. In October 2020, the Randolph County Housing Authority, in partnership with the Home Ownership Center, Inc., Highland Community Builders, the Claude Worthington/Benedum Foundation, and Rural LISC, celebrated the grand opening of the Financial Opportunity Center and Digital Navigator Program to serve the residents of these counties.
The Financial Opportunity Center provides individual coaching to support individuals in learning about their own financial behavior, including how to increase their income, decrease their expenses, and acquire assets. The Financial Opportunity Center will offer individually-tailored coaching services to help participants secure living wage jobs, build credit, reduce debt, gain wealth, and reach their own financial goals.
In addition to financial counseling, participants may receive assistance in areas of employment and training – including building job search strategies, learning interview techniques, and meeting with potential employers – and accessing and navigating income supports currently available from social services and agencies. Participants in the program will work one-on-one with a Financial Opportunity Coach to target their individual needs.
The Financial Opportunity Center model has been in effect for more than fifteen (15) years. Data shows that the model increases year-round employment, reduces non asset-related debt, builds positive credit history, and increases assets.
The Financial Opportunity Center was launched in conjunction with the Digital Navigator Program. The Digital Navigator Program will offer services to residents about free or affordable home internet service options. The Digital Navigator Program will also assist clients in sourcing affordable computers or internet-capable devices and offer training on digital skills. Digital Navigators will assist clients in developing a plan for advancing digital activities with a goal of decreasing social isolation and increasing economic participation. The Digital Navigator Program will especially target senior citizens who may benefit from access to social activities and tele-health options during the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs are available at no cost to participants. To learn more about the programs or apply, those interested should contact (304) 940-6776 or email email@example.com, attention Jennifer Griggs.