Goodwill Central Coast Prosperity Platform

In challenging times, MBEP members are working together to make the region better for those who call it home.

Goodwill Central Coast, in partnership with United Way Monterey County and a broad network of organizations across the Monterey Bay region, is making a difference through a program that helps individuals work toward economic self-sufficiency. The Prosperity Platform assists individuals reach economic self-sufficiency by working one-on-one with a Prosperity Planner. Often times the Prosperity Planners assist individuals to navigate through vulnerable situations, chart a path forward to stability, and toward individualized goals that enable them to thrive.

The Prosperity Platform is part of the Active Referral Network (ARN), a collaboration of community benefit organizations: education and training providers, financial institutions, housing organizations, child care educators, faith-based organizations, and agencies that provide emergency food and shelter. These organizations coordinate services to help people reach financial stability, address the determinants of health, and improve well-being.

That network includes several MBEP members, including the City of Monterey, Digital NEST, Eden Housing, MidPen, CHISPA, United Way Monterey County, California State University, Monterey Bay, and Hartnell College

Since 2017, members of that network have been working with Monterey County residents to develop and support strategies that address the key factors that affect prosperity: Access to Affordable and Quality Housing, Child Care, Transportation, Asset Growth and Management, Education, and Workforce Development. The first part of that strategy is a Prosperity Planner, or financial coach, who can help each individual create career plans, manage budgets, build credit and support systems.

“What we do is we figure out what barriers they’re having in reaching their goals, whatever their goals may be,” says Goodwill Central Coast VP of Workforce & Administration/Corporate Compliance Officer Jaime Reynolds. “The Prosperity Platform is so helpful because The Prosperity Planner assists individuals in developing a plan or a map on how to obtain their goals. They are taught so many things that ultimately assist them in reaching economic self-sufficiency. It’s about like-minded organizations helping the community and tapping expertise.” 

Those barriers can be anything from child care issues or stolen identity to challenges with finding affordable rentals that accept section 8 vouchers. Beyond financial coaching, prosperity advisors can also connect individuals with other organizations and services in its Active Referral Network to help them pursue long-term goals and work toward economic self-sufficiency. Services are free to all Monterey County residents and counseling is confidential. (Check out this success story on United Way Monterey County’s website.)  

“The goal is to get them from a crisis situation to thriving,” says Reynolds.