As 2018 — and Its Fifth Year — End, Prosperity Center Has Plenty to Celebrate

Monday, December 31, 2018
Prosperity Center staff teaching a budgeting class

The end of a calendar year is always a good time to stop and reflect on accomplishments and look forward to the future.

In the midst of its fifth year — and as 2018 ticks to 2019 — it’s clear Rockhurst University’s Prosperity Center for Financial Opportunity has plenty of those two things to raise a glass to.

Its mission, then and now, is to help residents of the Kansas City area in three service areas — employment coaching, financial counseling, and income support access. They serve everyone from those looking toward retirement to Rockhurst students often just starting their financial independence.

But the simplicity of their mission belies the impact its three-member staff has had in those areas over the past three years. From July 2013 to fall 2018, the Prosperity Center has helped 69 percent of its unemployed clients find work. Seventy-five percent of its clients have increased their net worth and 58 percent have increased their net income.

Another 44 percent have increased their credit score, which could make things like buying a car, getting a loan or even renting a house or apartment much easier.

The numbers speak, but the stories do, too. Tiffany Vincent, the director of the center, said the staff regularly receive testimonials and feedback from clients that speaks to the very human effects the services offered by the Prosperity Center has.

“One of our very first success stories came very early into the program, a client walked-in and was completely torn down by his circumstances,” she said. “After a few months of actively working with the center’s employment and financial coach he obtained a full-time position in his desired line of work. He received a raise and promotion within a year and as a result, he paid off previous debts increased his credit score and purchased a new car. He also got his own apartment and got engaged for the first time. The center contacted the client and he stated, ‘I know longer need your help.’ Although it may sound discouraging to most it was a powerful testimony and an testament to the Center’s integrated service delivery model.”

For that, Vincent thanked her staff past and present — Financial Coach Algero Monchusie and Employment Coach Meghan Freeman round out the current roster — and the Rockhurst University community of which the center is a part.

“Without that support, I am not sure where we would be,” she said. “I am also proud of our clients — they could go to any local community agency in Kansas City, but they choose us. I am proud of their commitment to trust the Prosperity Center to be a part of their journey.” 

 

Looking ahead, Vincent said the center plans to continue many of its current initiatives, but there are other efforts on the horizon, too. This year, the center launched a series of free workshops on everything from emotional intelligence in the workplace to an upcoming series on homeownership. The center is also part of a new campus effort to assist those in the campus community struggling with food insecurity.

“I am most excited about the possibility to increase the amount of clients we can serve. We are actively exploring new partnerships that will expand the services offered to clients,” she said. “And I am always excited to witness the successes that clients are able to achieve as a result of working with the Prosperity Center.”

Visit www.prosperitycenterkc.org to learn more about services offered by the Prosperity Center for Financial Opportunity.