ABOUT THE FINANCIAL CLINIC
The goal of the Financial Center is to drive personal and community transformation through financial empowerment.
The Financial Clinic is a one-stop-shop which provides innovative solutions to help families to reach their full financial potential by increasing credit scores, building wealth, and learning new ways to achieve short and long-term financial goals. The Clinic accomplishes this through coaching and group-based education for help with credit repair, tax preparation, home-purchase, debt management, planning and goal setting, and referrals to benefits and resources. Riverworks Development Corporation has operated the Financial Clinic, based on a national model from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), since 2008.
The Financial Clinic achieves its goals through no cost services to individuals.
Financial Coaching helps families reach financial goals by teaching money management skills, such as how to increase their credit scores, build savings, pay down debt and prepare for homeownership. Participants work with their coach to create an action plan and received support to achieve their goals.
Financial Navigator Program is a partnership with the City of Milwaukee, helps families deal with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trained Financial Navigators provide structured guidance over the phone to help families strategize around financial support for disruptions to their income and other financial debt.
Anti-Displacement is a partnership with MKE United and The City of Milwaukee, provides grants to eligible homeowners who live in near downtown neighborhoods to help them pay for property tax increases. Riverworks administers the Anti-Displacement application process and provides financial coaching to participants.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) offers year-round free tax preparation and coaching to families who make $58,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking, and taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their tax returns and/or assisting with dealing with IRS garnishments.
THE FINANCIAL CLINIC TEAM
Being raised on the Northside of Milwaukee Christopher spent his summers working with his grandfather, learning about business and investment values in his youth and teens years. He continued to dedicate his time and career educating himself in the same areas as he was taught while he was growing up.
Christopher has established a personal mission to strengthening his community one financial step at a time. Christopher’s career spans more than two decades as a Business Owner. Being passionate about his community, he recently joins a team of Financial Coaches to share his expertise with Income Tax Coaching, and helping families establish the value of self-investment, while developing realistic spending goals, savings goals, and debt management planning. Christopher is known for having a calming force and being “an excellent teacher”.
When families live in financial crisis, it is not uncommon to break the cycle of poverty. My great passion is providing “realistic” resources to people who do not know where to turn to for help. I know that no single resource is enough, I specialize in integrating resources that will help families to overcome poverty.
I have worked in non-profit organizations for the last 25 years, serving as a Financial Navigator (current role), 211 operator, Tax preparer, and Energy Assistance representative. I’m dedicated to giving everyone choices and resources to meet their financial needs.
I’m a BIG Green Bay Packer fan and look for every opportunity to score a touchdown for the families I serve.
Dedicated to empowering the community, Jamal has spent the past five years working in various areas of the banking industry to help bring financial opportunities to the community he serves and loves. Jamal’s has two mottos, one from Mahatma Gandhi: ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ and one from the movie ‘Lawrence of Arabia’: ‘I am a river to my people. His mission is to help the under-served, overlooked people to be all that they can be.
Jamal has worked in the financial industry over the past 20 years in various roles (collections, underwriting, retail banking, first time homebuyer education, and CRA; among others). A life-long resident of Milwaukee and product of the inner city, it is his goal and mission to be a river of knowledge, freely sharing everything he’s learned and knows in the financial industry with the community; to enrich their lives and to bring about the change he hopes to see. Their success is his success.
Yolonda was raised by a single mother and was working 2 jobs by the age of 14 to help support her family. She is very family orientated and artistic. Yolonda grew up in Hillside Boys & Girls Clubs where she stole their mission “To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens”. Spending most of her adult career working with individuals with disabilities, Yolonda provides a sense of self and pride to all those who cross her path.
She has been a faithful volunteer assisting with the day-to-day VITA operations since 2019 and making a difference assisting with RDC’s Tax Coaching for the Elderly program. We are excited that she has joined us as The Financial Clinic’s AmeriCorps member, putting her values into action!
Financial Navigator / Community Asset Development Specialist
I come to Riverworks Development Corporation with more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit with an emphasis on housing and safety for our residents. I came to Riverworks’ in August of 2020 filling the position of Community Asset Development Specialist for the Harambee neighborhood. Helping to make this a community of choice for a diverse citizenry in the City of Milwaukee. Friends, families and businesses desire that the Harambee community become a place where people can live, thrive and prosper—a place where businesses find an attractive market for their goods and services—and where government and others makes investments necessary to create change.
The Community Asset Development Specialist Position is responsible for implementing all facets of the job description objectives that were developed. I will be providing relationship management, community outreach, neighborhood marketing and communication.
I joined Riverworks Financial Clinic to provide the necessary resources and tools to help families to become financially successful; reaching any financial goal they desire to accomplish.
Prior to working at Riverworks Financial Clinic I worked at WFA Staffing bridging the gap between unemployed/under employed families to career focused employers. I have strong written and verbal communication skills and enjoy ensuring a smooth-running office, data tracking and meeting outcomes for agencies and the families served. During my tenure at WFA Staffing I was most proud of assisting people from my own community obtain employment. When I’m not keeping busy with the Clinic, you can find me cooking, watching a movie or attending a softball game