El Centro de Ayuda has been providing financial coaching and support to Luz and her four children, two of which who are school age. Her long has been to improve her saving plan. Some first steps she took was in opening a bank account after learning she was able to use her ITIN number. This experience was an integral part in her financial empowerment to be able to gain control of her finances and has incorporated conversation about finances with her family.
El Centro de Ayuda (ECDA) is the only FamilySource Center through the City of Los Angeles Housing Investment Community Development Department (HCID) to receive the 4 star performance awards for consecutive four years in providing excellent quality service delivery to low income families in the Boyle Heights area.
ECDA services are located in Boyle Heights that has been home to one of the largest Mexican populations in the United States. A small (6.5 square miles) densely (95,000+) populated urban neighborhood where families are living below poverty (26.1%) and having difficulty finding employment (unemployment 17.1%). ECDA’s Case Managers strive to assist customers to better their lives, create self sufficiency and advocate for themselves and the community in reducing these statistics.
Many low income families can break the devastating cycle of poverty by first getting stable. A family that comes to ECDA may enter at any step of their journey, but the typical path starts with stability and continues as they grow assets, resulting in whole family transformations.
In 2014, Boyle Heights resident Hector Jaime came to ECDA seeking immediate assistance for rent and food. He had just suffered a lay-off, his wife was unemployed and he was taking care of his two grandchildren who had been abandoned by their mother.