The United Way of Greenville County announced Dec. 16 plans to open a new Opportunity Center in early 2021. The facility will serve as a one-stop resource hub to improve economic mobility and financial stability options for local families and individuals.
“Almost 40% of Greenville County households do not have enough savings to replace income for three months, which often leads those facing financial hardship to turn to predatory financial practices that are unaffordable, unsafe and sometimes impossible to pay off,” said Meghan Barp, president and CEO of United Way of Greenville County. “The Opportunity Center provides a collaboration of trusted financial stability resources under one roof, a true community hub dedicated to improving economic mobility and wealth creation opportunities for people in Greenville County.”
The center will connect Greenville County individuals and families with partners and services such as the Greenville County Human Relations Commission, CommunityWorks, United Housing Connections, financial counseling and coaching, access to affordable loans, matched savings programs for asset building, income supports and free income tax filing through United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
Once open, the Opportunity Center will measure its success by helping participants meet key financial stability metrics, including:
- Earn a livable income that reaches the self-sufficiency standard of $46,000 for a family of four in Greenville County
- Achieve a good credit score of 620 or higher
- Own a checking and savings account
- Decrease debt below 40% of monthly income
- Establish a saving account equal to three months of living expenses
- Set aside an emergency savings of $1,000
“The Opportunity Center helps people right now affected by the economic downturn by providing financial assistance to help pay for basic necessities, but it also opens the door to important conversations about long-term solutions, such as how to open a bank account, create a savings pattern and build economic pathways to success,” said Deborah McKetty, United Way senior vice president for community impact. “We are excited to be able to provide the community with this critical new service.”
The new center will join similar models to address improving economic mobility implemented by United Ways across South Carolina and the country, including United Way of the Piedmont in Spartanburg and Trident United Way in Charleston, South Carolina.
It will be located at 101 Antrim Drive in Greenville and will be open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Once open, appointments will be required and can be made by calling 864-382-3325.
For more information, visit unitedwaygc.org/opportunity-center.