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Chelsea Non-Profits Launch CONNECT to Bring Financial Stability to Impoverished Residents

Federal Reserve symposium and Nixon Peabody reception featuring Representative Capuano to kick-off new initiative
01/18/2012

At two events on Thursday, January 19, six Chelsea non-profits will launch CONNECT, a new initiative to bring bundled financial stability services to the city's impoverished residents from a central location. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston will host a financial stability symposium entitled From Poverty to Economic Resilience targeted at non-profit and community leaders. The discussion will feature two panels focusing on the challenges currently facing Massachusetts residents and best practices for making impoverished families financially stable. A cocktail reception will follow the symposium at the Law Offices of Nixon Peabody LLP to officially launch CONNECT. State Representative Michael Capuano will deliver the keynote address at the reception during the program at 6:30pm.

"Residents face a wide variety of challenges including a highly competitive job market, a lack of social capital, isolated adult education and inadequate job training services," said Ann Houston, Executive Director of Chelsea Neighborhood Developers. "These challenges are compounded for recent immigrants who may be completely unfamiliar with US banking systems. CONNECT will build on each partner's deep experience and creates new opportunities for families to integrate a network of services to achieve economic security." 

Six of Chelsea's most respected community organizations will co-locate and bundle their services, leveraging existing resources to support transformative economic mobility for low-income families. CONNECT will provide traditional workforce development support from CareerSource, Centro Latino and Bunker Hill Community College in coordination with asset development and housing services from Chelsea Neighborhood Developers, Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership and Metro Credit Union. 

CONNECT's "bundled" model of services is based on proven models for client success. The earliest supporters of the project include local and national funders who have developed a body of knowledge on what it takes for low-income households to overcome economic obstacles. These funders include BNY Mellon, Boston LISC, Catalyst Fund for Non-Profits, Citi Foundation, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, National Credit Union Foundation, NeighborWorks America and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.

"United Way became a founding supporter of CONNECT and its mission since the organizations have decided to combine their efforts to better serve the community," said symposium panelist and United Way's Assistant Vice President of Community Impact Kory Eng. "When we work together we can achieve more and build a better future for our community."

The financial symposium, From Poverty to Economic Resilience, at the Federal Reserve will feature the following panels:

Panel 1: What are the challenges that residents of the Commonwealth - and gateway cities in particular - face?
Moderator - Dr. Mary Fifield: President, Bunker Hill Community College
Robert Clifford: Policy Analyst, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Dr. Ramon Borges-Méndez: Associate Professor of Community Development & Planning, Clark University
Jan Bonanno: Dean of Student Affairs, Bunker Hill Community College

Panel 2: Best practices and models for moving families from poverty to financial stability
Moderator - Deborah Boatright: Regional Director, NeighborWorks America
Kevin Jordan: Director of Family Income and Asset Building, Local Initiatives Support Coalition
Kory EngAssistant Vice President of Community Impact, United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley
Marissa Guananja: Director of Resident Asset Development, Chelsea Neighborhood Developers, CONNECT Managing Partner