Announcement, News, Press Release

GreenLight Philadelphia Launches Fifth Portfolio Organization: Compass Working Capital

Jul 16, 2018


Omar Woodard, Executive Director
GreenLight Fund Philadelphia
1501 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

July 16, 2018


Philadelphia, PA – GreenLight Fund Philadelphia announces a four-year, $600,000 investment in Boston-based Compass Working Capital (Compass) and local nonprofit Clarifi to enhance and expand the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. As part of the investment, the housing authority approved an agreement for Compass to fully operate the FSS program on its behalf, and Clarifi will implement Compass’ proven model in Philadelphia.

Compass is a nonprofit financial services organization that provides innovative financial coaching and savings programs to families with low incomes, and is a national leader on the FSS program. Since launching its first FSS partnership program in 2010, the nonprofit has expanded the model to serve over 1,000 families each year at sites in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island as well as approximately 800 families through seven partners across six states in its National FSS Network.

“We are committed to accelerating economic mobility for children, youth, and families living in high-poverty areas of the city. Helping hardworking families build wealth is among the most effective ways to move and keep families out of poverty,” said Omar Woodard, executive director of GreenLight Fund Philadelphia.

For over five decades, Clarifi has helped people in the Greater Philadelphia region identify and secure the most important assets in their lives through financial and housing counseling. Clarifi is well positioned to execute Compass’ proven model, with a long track record of working with PHA and its residents. Clarifi is approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide housing counseling to its residents, and has provided homeownership and financial counseling through multiple partnerships alongside the School District, the Philadelphia Financial Empowerment Centers, and many other initiatives.

The FSS program is designed to help residents build savings and achieve their personal financial goals. The program enables residents to capture a portion of their rental payment as savings when they increase their income. The Compass model integrates financial coaching services into the FSS program to help families overcome barriers and make progress toward their financial goals. Compass’ most recent data shows that nearly 40 percent of its program graduates choose to leave subsidized housing, 17 percent secure homeownership, and the average savings of a program graduate is $7,800.
Compass is the first nonprofit in the U.S. to leverage the FSS program and operate it on behalf of public housing authorities. “This partnership between PHA, Compass, and Clarifi will leverage our expertise on the FSS program and Clarifi’s deep history in the Philadelphia community to drive transformative outcomes for PHA residents,” noted Sherry Riva, Compass’ Founder and Executive Director. “This partnership will also contribute to a growing national demonstration of the FSS program’s potential and help to shape national practice and improve policy.” The Philadelphia Housing Authority and Clarifi will also join Compass Working Capital’s growing National FSS Network. Current partners include public housing authorities, private owners, and other community-based organizations in over 15 communities across 6 states.

This investment is made possible by the generous financial support from Josh Kopelman, the Burke Family Foundation, Santander Bank, the Lenfest Foundation, Marc and Leah Singer, the William Penn Foundation, John and Sue Simon, the Terrace Fund, Osage Partners, NewSpring Capital, the Brook J. Lenfest Foundation, and Bank of America.

About the GreenLight Fund:
The GreenLight Fund transforms the lives of children, youth and families in high-poverty urban areas by creating local infrastructure and a consistent annual process to: identify critical needs; import innovative, entrepreneurial programs that have a significant, measurable impact; and galvanize local support to help programs reach and sustain impact. Working in Boston since 2003, Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay Area since 2012, Cincinnati since 2015, Detroit since 2016, Charlotte since 2017, and Kansas City (MO) in 2018. GreenLight aims to grow a national network of GreenLight sites that learn and work collaboratively to find and spread proven nonprofit solutions that achieve meaningful and measurable impact in our communities on the issues that matter most. Learn more at: GreenLight Fund

About Compass Working Capital:
Compass Working Capital is an innovative nonprofit financial services organization that supports families to build assets and financial capabilities as a pathway to greater economic opportunity, and out of poverty. Compass works with mission-aligned partners to expand the scope and impact of the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program. Through the National FSS Network, Compass puts its proven program model in the hands of mission-aligned partners around the country. Learn more about Compass Working Capital.

About Clarifi:
Clarifi is a nonprofit organization that has been working since 1966 to help thousands of individuals identify and secure the most important assets in their lives. Formerly named Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Delaware Valley, Clarifi partners with other local nonprofit organizations, financial institutions, schools and local, state and national government agencies to impact more people and communities throughout the region. Clarifi believes that everyone should have access to the information and technology required to take control of their personal financial wellbeing, no matter their economic status. Learn more about Clarifi.