By Regina Pierce,2014-06-28 21:07
14 views 0


    Chicago’s Abraham Lincoln Centre--Center for Working


A comprehensive asset development program with many opportunities to access matched funds

Centers for Working Families (CWF) are conveniently located centers that provide supportive

    and resource-rich environments where low-income families can access integrated workforce

    services, income supports, financial tools and services, community connections, and more.

    Through a new approach of outreach, one-to-one coaching, and a set of bundled services, CWFs

    help families reach their economic goals, achieve stable employment and career advancement

    opportunities, receive available income and work supports, develop strategies to increase their

    income, reduce their daily living expenses, and access fairly-priced financial services within their

    neighborhood. CWFs are full of partnerships. Centers have a continuum of services, although not

    everything is necessarily at one place. The success of a CWF is largely determined by how integrated it is into the surrounding community.

Some of the services typically offered at a CWF include:

    ? Workforce servicesCWFs often provide career advisors to work with individuals on

    assessing skills and developing career plans. The focus of workforce services is on

    helping individuals achieve steady employment and career advancement.

    ? Income supports CWFs help families enroll in federal, state, or local cash and non-cash

    benefit programs. Many families are eligible for public benefits, but they are not aware of

    them, or they have found the benefits very difficult to access. These benefits could

    include the earned income tax credit (EITC), health insurance programs, childcare

    subsidies, temporary cash assistance, food stamps, and energy assistance supports. CWFs

    provide a trusted and confidential environment to help them access important services,

    and offer key toolslike a web-based calculatorto simplify enrollment.

    ? Financial services and asset building Through on-site financial advisors and friendly

    software tools, CWFs offer a range of services, including financial education, money

    management, investment classes, and credit repair counseling. CWFs seek to connect

    families to fairly-priced personal, business, mortgage, car or home repair loans and other

    banking services, whether offered through the CWFs themselves or through partner

    financial institutions.

CWFs can also provide homeownership counseling, customized training, transportation, child

    care resources, small business development, legal services, services for special populations

    (formerly incarcerated and those with low literacy), check cashing and bill payment, remittances,

    notary public, support groups, and much more.


    The Abraham Lincoln Centre’s Center for Working Families is one such program. The Abraham

    Lincoln Centre (ALC) was founded as a settlement house in 1905 and quickly became the home

    to a variety of social, intellectual and cultural activities. The Center serves adults ages 17 and


    ? Urban Strategies Council, Oakland, CA, July 2007

over residing in the North Kenwood, Oakland, Douglas and Grand Boulevard areas as well as

    their families and friends.

    Program Description The Center for Working Families (CWF) at the Abraham Lincoln Centre provides a supportive

    and resource rich environment where families can obtain access to employment services, family

    economic supports, financial services, community connections and other high quality services in

    their neighborhood.

Through a new approach of outreach, coaching, and a set of ―bundled‖ services, professional and

    caring staff assist families in reaching their economic goals by helping them achieve stable

    employment and career advancement opportunities, receive available income and work supports,

    and access fairly-priced financial services within their neighborhood.

Programs and Services Offered Through the Center For Working Families

     Employment Services

    ? Intake, orientation, assessment and working with a case manager to outline career

    goals and to obtain employment at a livable wage.

    ? A strong post-employment service component is offered with a focus on retention,

    career-pathing and job advancement.

     Financial Services

    ? Connects ―unbanked‖ individuals and families to traditional financial institutions and


    ? Services offered include financial education, money management, investing classes,

    credit repair counseling, and banking services.

     Family Economic Supports

    ? At the time of intake, CWF staff assesses families to help them determine and access

    the federal, state or local cash and non-cash services and benefit programs for which

    they are eligible

Other services at the same location include

     Children’s Services

    ? Head Start and Early Head Start programs teach children 3 to 5 years of age the skills

    they need to succeed in school and later in life.

     Senior Services

    ? Activities include information sessions to get advances in healthcare, meet with local

    healthcare providers to take part in screenings, general group planning and social

    interaction. Consultants are brought in to check and monitor the participants’ health

    and living conditions.

     Community Technology Center

    ? Center provides basic technology literacy skills training, advanced training and specialized



    ? Urban Strategies Council, Oakland, CA, July 2007

Partner agencies include a Community Development Corporation (CDC), a welfare to work

    program, a youth employment training and placement agency, a free tax preparation service and

    a recycling and community beautification program that employs ―hard to place‖ individuals.

Adapted by Urban Strategies Council from the Annie E. Casey Foundation Website


    ? Urban Strategies Council, Oakland, CA, July 2007

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email