An important resource in Kalamazoo, Financial Opportunity Collaborative, is opening its doors to help countless people in our community rise above poverty with financial coaching and assistance, thanks to a partnership between Urban Alliance, Inc., Local Initiatives Support Corporations of Kalamazoo, and Kalamazoo Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. Located at the Douglass Community Association in the Northside neighborhood, their aim is to help their students improve job skills and create a pathway to financial self-sufficiency. The program is expected to help 150 residents in the first year alone.

According to an article from MLive, executive director for Urban Alliance, Luke Kujacznski said, quote, "...we recognized that financial coaching and assistance are not only necessary, but can actually speed up the process." It makes sense. It's not just about making the money; it's being smart with it. Not every person was taught the art of budgeting, and not every person was given the tools to discern priority. Having a program in our community that gives our young people the soft skills to become employable and financially literate is certainly a gem.