On April 14, 2014, Interim Department Director Catherine Lester joined Mayor Ed Murray, City Council President Tim Burgess, City Councilmember Sally Clark, Vulcan Senior Director of Philanthropic Initiatives Dune Ives, community-based leaders and organizational partners, and members of the community in the Rainier Vista neighborhood for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open Seattle’s seven new Financial Empowerment Centers (FECs).
Thanks in part to funding from the Paul Allen Family Foundation, Seattle is the first city on the West Coast to have such a program. Financial Empowerment in general and the FECs specifically are part of the Mayor’s vision of creating an affordable Seattle. The FECs offer free professional one-on-one counseling for Seattle residents. The centers primarily encourage low-income residents to come in for coaching to aid in the management of their finances. Services include banking, access to savings accounts, help with debt, and the management of credit. For many, services like these are not available due to prohibitive costs, or fear of predatory practices. The coaches in the Seattle FECs provide professional one-on-one counseling based on the belief that the client is best served when they have the greatest opportunity to make informed choices about their financial future. Locations are scattered throughout the Seattle area, with the main location at Rainier Vista: 4431 Martin Luther King Jr Way South.
To date the Seattle FEC has served over 100 clients looking for a broad spectrum of financial support. With the official opening behind us, we are looking to grow the number of clients served. For more information visit www.seattlefec.org or Neighborhood House.