Changing Lives One Ride at a Time

Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve.

Social determinants of health (SDOH) have a significant impact on the lives of the residents within a given community. One SDOH is financial insecurity. Healthy People 2020 has listed economic stability as one of the five key areas of social determinants of health. According to The Ohio Poverty Report (Feb 2019), Lucas County has a poverty level of 19.8%, the highest in the state of Ohio. This report lists the percentage of poor persons in the city of Toledo at 26.5%. Financial instability is the single most important factor in making health care decisions for low-income individuals. This can lead to physical and mental health illnesses. We have a Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) in Toledo that offers job training, financial coaching and education classes at no cost. Their goal is to reduce debt, build credit history, and understand how they can better improve their financial well-being. This FOC is the only such resource in Northwest Ohio.

Providing transportation to the FOC would allow more at risk community members to participate in the educational offerings. This would provide them with the ability to improve their financial status and overall physical and mental well-being. The FOC has assisted homeless individuals maintain their own residence, provided job training and have had a few become able to purchase their own home. This grant money would facilitate more people being able to have the opportunity to become self-sufficient by partaking in the services provided by the FOC. So far this year 116 people have shown improvement in at least 1 key financial outcome. Saving accounts ranging from $3700 - $6100 and credit scores increased on average of 38 points are two such improvements. Approximately 1 million dollars has been indirectly brought back to our community through their free tax return program and in public assistance members have qualified for including housing, food assistance and utility payment plans.

Financial illiteracy affects all ages and socioeconomic levels. This means they lack the basic skills to reconcile their bank accounts, pay bills on time, pay off debt and plan for the future. The main steps to achieving financial literacy include learning the skills to create a budget pay off debt and track spending. These are all taught at the FOC. If more people can participate and learn these skills more will be able to make positive changes in their lives. When community members are able to become more self-sufficient you tend to see the quality of life in the community increase as well. An increase in financial well-being will help improve physical and mental health. How can we change this situation so people can take action to improve their lives? Please help us help our neighbors by selecting our community development grant opportunity to provide transportation to the Financial Opportunity Center