Our programs mobilize people with low incomes and the broader community to build assets that prevent poverty, create equality, and strengthen our social fabric. Our mission and vision come to life through our programs. Community partnerships are formed and people with low incomes find the support, resources, and relationships they need to overcome economic, racial, and cultural barriers that prevent them from establishing and maintaining self-sufficient, connected lives.
Are you committed to increasing your income, decreasing your expenses, and doing what it takes to secure your financial future? If so, the Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) is a great place to start. We help people who want to help themselves.
FAIM IDA (Family Assets for Independence in Minnesota Individual Development Account) is a matched savings account designed to help you save money to acquire one of three assets: a home, a higher education, or a small business. Notice: FAIM (a statewide program with funding from the MN State Legislature) was de-funded as of July 2011. Please click on the FAIM icon to learn more. If you currently have a FAIM Account – your funding and matched funds are still secured. The cuts to FAIM prevent future savers from enrolling in the program.
Ready to begin working toward your financial goals? Need to get a bank account or start an emergency fund? Can't wait to get started in FAIM? Then join Duluth Saves! It is a pay-yourself-first program that gets you on the road to financial prosperity.
This financial education program offers classes that focus on building financial "fitness." Topics include increasing knowledge about budgeting, credit cards, asset building, mortgages, ID theft, predatory lending, dealing with collectors, and creating savings.
An opportunity to invest in your most important asset—your home! Make needed repairs or great home improvements like increasing energy efficiency. Contribute monthly to achieve your savings goal and get matched for your efforts. Complete a post-purchase/home repair class, get an energy audit, receive a home inspection, and write a home improvement plan—then start fixing your house!
We are currently working with a cohort of savers. Funding for the future of the program and an additional cohort has not been secured to date. We are committed to long-term asset building and retention. If you would like to work with a financial coach or housing counselor, please enroll in the Financial Opportunity Center.
We offer free walk-in tax preparation service at two sites, plus appointments available to reduce wait time. Fast refunds can be expected and a savings program is offered with our partners at Northern Communities Credit Union.
A reliable car can provide and improve access to a better job, education, medical services, childcare, and more. JumpStart Duluth provides down-payment assistance and low interest loans to assist in the purchase of reliable, low mileage, energy-efficient vehicles. Education on preventative car maintenance, car ownership, and credit repair is also offered. Get on the road to prosperity and own your own vehicle!
Bridge to Employment: Our mission is to promote a more diverse workforce by assisting African American individuals currently receiving public assistance for families to secure entry level employment, remain in the workforce, and develop career goals that will advance them to living wage positions.
HOPE: Help and Opportunity in the Pursuit of Employment: This advocacy program provides HOPE and support to families struggling to achieve a better financial future. High impact strategies include: education planning, goal planning, support, and encouragement to bring families out of isolation.
Circles of Support - Circles@Work is a partnership with LISC (Local Initiative Support Corporation) and the City of Duluth's - Duluth at Work program. This workforce development collaborative provides nontraditional vocational support networks to single mothers with children. We work closely with employers to match applicants with specific jobs. The advocacy coordinator and volunteer Allies in the Circles of Support program provide onsite soft skill training to all participants. This training includes individualized support and training in all aspects of the job seeking and interview process. This also includes resume and cover letter writing, interviewing skills, formal mock interviews, and pre- and post-interview etiquette. Circles of Support assists in addressing barriers to employment that employers may not perceive or recognize - for example, making sure back-up childcare and transportation plans are in place.
Engaging the Community
Circles of Support is a community engagement model that works to increase community and build intentional relationships across race and class lines.Circles of Support incorporates a new multifaceted approach to help families move out of isolation and poverty. This approach brings people together to dispel stereotypes, strengthen social connections across socioeconomic and cultural divides, to help families move out of poverty.
The Getting Ahead course helps individuals experiencing poverty investigate the impact poverty has on themselves and their communities. It helps people prepare to transform their own lives and their communities by helping them create concrete individual plans to build resources and start Getting Ahead.
Note: A parallel series called “Intersections of Poverty, Race & Class," that explores the intersection of these social constructs designed for middle class individuals, will be starting in the Winter of 2012.
Green Jobs: Green-collar jobs, as we define them, are well-paid, career-track jobs that contribute directly to preserving or enhancing environmental quality. The five current Green Jobs projects at Community Action Duluth are Seeds of Success Urban Agriculture, Summer Youth Energy Outreach, Watershed Conservation Corps, Minnesota Power Energy Conservation, and Step-Up Construction Apprentices.
By transforming vacant land into productive gardens, Seeds of Success is making fresh, locally-grown produce available to the entire community. Income-qualified volunteers earn a share of the harvest, as well as recipes and ideas for how to preserve and prepare the food they've helped to grow.
Duluth Streams Watershed Conservation Corps: A pilot scale project focusing on the need to protect and restore upland riparian zones for their value as wildlife corridors, filters for polluted runoff, and sinks to slow storm water runoff. The program will use underemployed urban residents to carry out restoration projects along the banks of cold water streams draining into the St. Louis River Area of Concern and Lake Superior. These Watershed Conservation Corps members will work in tandem with a habitat action team to implement projects that hold and retain water, filter pollutants, restore native vegetation, provide shade, and stabilize shoreline banks.
Green Duluth Energy Canvass: This door-to-door energy outreach project employed 12 youth from low income households the summer of 2009. They knocked on more than 13,000 doors and talked to more than 4,000 people about weatherization assistance and other energy programs, as well as low cost, energy-saving measures. In the 2010 canvass, we are partnering with the Duluth Energy Efficiency Program (DEEP) to organize an eight-week, door-to-door energy outreach campaign to promote neighborhood energy workshops. The goal is to engage homeowners and renters in DEEP's neighborhood workshops and increase energy conservation in Duluth.