How the Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment is Closing the Income Inequality Gap

If you live in Boston, then you know it can be hard getting ahead. In fact, there are over 200,000 Boston residents who have either poor credit scores or no credit scores.

Building and maintaining good credit history is critical in our economy, but credit deficiencies further increases income inequality in our city.

So what’s the solution?

Mayor Marty Walsh recognized that something needed to be done to remedy this issue. He believed that developing strategies and programming to connect Boston residents, including young adults (ages 18+), would provide much needed income building opportunities.

With these goals in mind, Mayor Walsh’s Boston’s Office of Financial Empowerment launched the Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment (RCFE). The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and Boston’s Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) supported this initiative to offer comprehensive services to help those who needed it most.

The RCFE offers low income Boston residents with key skills and resources needed to develop their financial goals and build good credit. By partnering with local experts, there focus on three main areas to help people achieve their dreams:

  1. Employment and career services. It’s hard to build credit or increase credit scores without stable employment. One of the things RCFE focuses on is workforce development, such as improving skills, and finding and applying for employment opportunities.
  2. Financial education and coaching. Changes in spending and saving behaviors can be tough habits to break. Through positive support and empowerment, the RCFE encourages their clients to set goals, understand how to create budgets, and work toward building assets (e.g., retirement savings, 401k, home ownership).
  3. Income Support. Even with steady income, it can still be difficult to afford life’s basic needs. If benefits are available, the RCFE makes sure to connect their clients with the correct providers such as SNAP (food stamps) or fuel assistance. They also offer free tax services.

The staff at the RCFE are ready to work with Boston residents and help them identify appropriate services so they can reach their goals and close the income inequality gap in our city.

Read more about financial coaching and other resources in greater boston.