An Assessment of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s Financial Opportunity Centers

Research Report

An Assessment of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s Financial Opportunity Centers

Abstract

This project assesses the impact of financial and employment counseling services offered by Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs) at AmeriCorps sites operated by LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation).The assessment used propensity score matching to compare short-term changes in economic and financial outcomes for LISC clients with changes observed for comparison group members. The results suggest that FOCs tend to have positive short-term impacts on employment and wages, negative impacts on credit score outcomes, and positive impacts on net worth. Cost analysis suggests that FOC services deliver short-term wage-differential benefits to jobless clients that narrowly exceed the costs of delivering the services.

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