Financial Empowerment Center Expands to Reach Allegheny County Residents 

Feb 5, 2024

FEC website featured image

Neighborhood Allies, a leading advocate for financial empowerment and mobility, and Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) are thrilled to announce the launch the Allegheny County Financial Empowerment Center (FEC). This momentous expansion follows Neighborhood Allies’ successful leadership of the Pittsburgh Financial Empowerment Center in partnership with the City of Pittsburgh since 2019. 

The purpose of the Financial Empowerment Center is to empower Allegheny County residents with the knowledge, tools, and support needed to achieve financial goals through professional financial counseling as a free public service for everyone. 

Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato says, “We are extremely excited to be able to build upon the successes that Neighborhood Allies and the City of Pittsburgh have accomplished and to bring this service to scale across the entire county. The FECs provide residents with the knowledge and tools they need to achieve their financial goals and to thrive.” 

The strategic collaboration and expansion into Allegheny County holds strategic importance for several reasons: 

  • Continued Impact for Current Clients and Partners: The FEC continues to deliver essential services for existing clients and partners, ensuring an uninterrupted transition. 
  • Extended Service Area: Breaking free from city boundaries, the service area now encompasses all residents of Allegheny County, allowing outreach and services to be provided equitably. 
  • New Collaborations with Social Service Providers: The initiative will foster new partnerships with social service providers aligned with ACDHS, including CSBG grantees, family support centers, senior centers, and housing programs. 
  • Increased Financial Resources: The expanded initiative creates avenues for raising greater financial resources from diverse sources, amplifying the program’s overall impact. 
  • Strategic Integrations with Direct DHS Services: The FEC programmatic integrations will strategically align with direct DHS services, benefiting youth aging out of foster care, returning citizens, or individuals facing fines/fees. 

The Allegheny County Financial Empowerment Center is aligned with Neighborhood Allies’ North Star goal of moving 100,000 low-income Pittsburghers up the socio-economic ladder over the next 10 years. “This expansion marks a significant achievement for us and for DHS, and a huge opportunity for the county’s residents,” says Sarah Dieleman Perry, Vice President of Economic Mobility at Neighborhood Allies. “We look forward to welcoming new clients and new community partners. We’re pleased that existing clients will continue to access the same trusted and experienced counselors from Advantage Credit Counseling Service, who can help them realize their financial goals.” 

Over the past 4+ years, the FEC has served over 2,200 residents in 7,500 sessions, leading to 3,400 measurable outcomes. Notable achievements include 1,000 reduced delinquent accounts, 753 contributions to long-term savings, 566 credit score increases, and 283 new safe and affordable bank accounts opened.  

“Already, thousands of Pittsburgh residents have reduced $6.3 millions of dollars in debt and built $2.7 million in savings through the Financial Empowerment Center, just one of 31 operating across the country,” said Jonathan Mintz, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “We’re thrilled to partner with the Allegheny County Department of Human Services and its partners at Neighborhood Allies and Advantage Credit Counseling Service to expand FEC services, bringing professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a free public service to all Allegheny County residents.” 

“Advantage is thrilled to partner with DHS and to continue our relationship with Neighborhood Allies and Cities for Financial Empowerment as the counseling partner for the Allegheny County FEC. The mission of the FEC goes hand in hand with Advantage’s 55 year commitment to provide financial counseling services to Allegheny County residents,” said Heather Murray, Vice President of Advantage Credit Counseling Service, Inc. 

Neighborhood Allies and DHS are dedicated to empowering individuals and communities to build generational wealth and improve economic mobility. For more information on the FEC or to schedule a free session with a professional counselor, visit: 

Top Header Image Photo Credit: Prototyping Larimer Stories by artist John Peña, photo by OPA