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Center for Working Families

The Center for Working Families (CWF) is an approach to help low and moderate income families reach financial stability and move up the economic ladder. The program offers access to a full range of essential economic supports in a convenient neighborhood location to help families build self-sufficiency, stabilize their finances, and move ahead.

The CWF makes it easier for families to tap into all of the services and supports for which they qualify, filling in the gaps and helping them weather unexpected setbacks. Lighthouse works with families on a long-term basis, providing supports to them as their needs change. Currently the program serves 250 families who are seeking support to find career-track employment, to learn to better manage their personal finances and to gain access to public benefits.

The Center for Working Families understands that low to moderate income families have the ability to save and achieve long-term financial and life goals.  Unlike other organizations or programs, CWF provides three components as a bundled package, giving its clients access to a full range of services, as well as receiving one-on-one assistance addressing any unique barriers to their financial well-being.  The bundled services include: 1) workforce development, 2) financial education/asset building, and 3) income supports/access to benefits.

Workforce Development:

CWF provides participants with career assessment and coaching, job readiness training and job placement, hard skills training, and career advancement (education and training, advising).  Additionally, CWF may refer participants to off-site education and workforce development opportunities as it finds appropriate.


Financial Education:

The financial services/asset building component includes providing educational workshops, and help accessing more affordable financial services products.  Additionally, CWF provides one-on-one financial coaching, which includes assistance with repairing credit, budgeting to pay down debt, budgeting, accessing lower-cost financial products and developing a savings plan.  Financial coaching is characterized by a long-term relationship between a client and a financial expert.  The process focuses on changing negative financial behaviors and establishing new positive behaviors over time.  It provides an opportunity for the client to set and achieve his or her personal financial goals.  The client is given information, coached on techniques and practices, and their progress is monitored. 

When appropriate, CWF staff will recommend clients to seek out Income Support opportunities. Follow-up to these services includes assistance with benefits navigation, and updates on progress.


Income Supports:

CWF provides participants with access to income supports by analyzing their qualification for public benefits, reviewing tax credit possibilities, and reviewing student financial aid availability. 

Center for Working Families clients are ready to take control of their futures, learn how to utilize benefits, and make positive behavioral changes for financial empowerment.  Accordingly, all clients are required to meet with a financial coach a minimum of two times annually, but are budgeted to meet with a coach quarterly on average.  Clients are also required to attend classes taught by financial coaches.  Additionally, clients have a one-on-one meeting with a benefits analyst and employment specialist.  CWF clients develop realistic budgets, learn healthy spending habits, prepare for job interviews and new careers, and are shown benefits and resources available for bridging their financial gaps.

Center for Working Families clients who qualify for workforce development opportunities are enrolled in skill-building programs including: interview and resume preparedness and job coaching sessions.


Building Stronger Communities

The education and awareness needed to build and maintain strong communities is provided through The Center for Working Families.