Compass Working Capital believes that all families deserve the opportunity to save for and invest in their future. Compass combines this belief in people with a commitment to the role that assets and financial capabilities play in supporting families to access greater economic opportunity, and move up and out of poverty.
Assets matter because they provide a cushion in times of economic distress and provide the capital that all of us need to make investments in the kinds of things that move our families forward, like homeownership, education, a business, and emergency savings. Assets also provide hope, and a stronger orientation toward the future.
Compass is putting the tools to build assets and financial capabilities into the hands of families with low incomes, and supporting families to use those tools to reach their financial goals and dreams. Their unique approach leverages an underutilized, and decades-old federal initiative, the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program, that allows participating families to capture as savings any increase in rent triggered by an increase in income. Compass combines this savings opportunity with individualized financial coaching to support families to reach major financial goals and become financially secure.
In order to bring its FSS program model to families assisted by the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA), Compass has partnered with a local nonprofit, Clarifi. 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 Philadelphia Housing Authority Board of Commissioners approved a five year, $2M contract for Compass Working Capital and Clarifi to operate its FSS program, and GreenLight Fund Philadelphia’s $600,000 investment will enable Compass and Clarifi to significantly expand access to the program for PHA’s 36,000 residents.
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