Financial Opportunity Center

The Financial Opportunity Center (or FOC, formerly Center for Working Families) serves as a hub for all resources provided by the North Lawndale Employment Network. It provides outreach, coaching, and bundles of services to help you reach your economic goals. To learn more about the programs we offer, please watch the short video below.

Our financial coaches provide free credit-building programs including: soft pull credit report s, credit report and score analyses, assistance in removing errors from credit reports and help in establishing a credit history. We also provide free financial education workshops, assistance in enrolling in public aid programs and household budgeting advice.

Since 2009, we have helped more than 500 clients improve their credit scores. Read more about the importance of credit and how NLEN can help you build credit in this report from the Illinois Asset-Building Group.

A financial coach guiding an NLEN client through his credit report at the FOC.


The FOC program integrates long-term financial coaching into NLEN’s existing services, showing you how to expand your financial education and access credit-building programming. Clients enrolled in two or more FOC services are:

  • 4 times more likely to improve their credit rating
  • 11 times more likely to improve net worth
  • 14 times more likely to improve net income


By adding income supports and financial coaching alongside employment services, the FOC connects residents to the economic mainstream and improves our communities.  Click here to read about how our credit building programs have helped clients like Eugene Reese in this New York Times Magazine article.

For more information about Financial Literacy and Education, or to set up an appointment with a Financial Coach, please contact Pauline Sylvain-Lewis, the Director of Financial Opportunity Center for North Lawndale Employment Network.

Affordable Care Act

The new health care law will help many people pay for health insurance. Based on your income, family size and the health plan you choose, you may qualify for tax credits and help paying for coverage. Check out this fact sheet for a quick overview!

North Lawndale Employment Network is proud to partner with Be Covered, a grassroots organization dedicated to engage, educate, and enroll the uninsured. For more information about the Affordable Care Act and how you can enroll, contact Michelle Parker at 773-638-8209.

In addition to providing a bilingual website, informational materials, and a text campaign, Be Covered Illinois has also launched a bilingual consumer education hotline: 1- 888-809-2796. Consumers can call this toll-free number Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT for more information about requirements of the new federal health care law.

• To find out how the new healthcare law affects you, visit • ‘Like’ Be Covered on Facebook: • Follow Be Covered on Twitter: • To receive alerts from the Be Covered Illinois campaign text 33633 with the word JOINIL for English updates or UNIRIL for Spanish updates.


Click here to see DOL grant secured through LISC FOC 
To learn more about LISC and our work through this partnership, please watch the short video below.