Center for Working Families

Center for Working Families

A model of neighborhood-based organizations that assist low-income families motivated to attain financial stability and move up the economic ladder, the Savannah Centers for Working Families bring together, or “bundle,” basic economic supports in one location. The approach was developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and has been refined by its grantees throughout the U.S.

Since 2008 Step Up and the United Way of the Coastal Empire have worked with community organizations and Savannah Technical College to apply this approach.

Key tenets of the CWF model include

  • Providing multiple services to clients covering at least two of three areas—workforce development/adult education, wealth building, and access to public benefits
  • Coaching clients to help them to identify and achieve objectives important to them
  • Relying on a data management system (Efforts to Outcomes) to track and evaluate progress.

A network of CWF organizations meets monthly and works to accomplish

  • Tailor and use the Efforts to Outcomes program management system to improve services and outcomes
  • Support collaboration and referrals among the CWF network and ensure comprehensive services are available
  • Discuss and implement the best ideas for improving individual outcomes, especially in the areas of wealth management (i.e., “Dollars to Dough” financial education program design) and workforce development (i.e., link participants in training programs at community centers with local employers).

The five Centers for Working Families

  • St. Mary’s Community Center
  • Moses Jackson Advancement Center
  • Harambee House
  • West Broad Street YMCA
  • Savannah Technical College
  • Wesley Community Centers of Savannah

Step Up’s Chatham Apprentice Program also participates actively in the CWF Network as does the Effingham H.E.L.P. Center.