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In coastal Florida, creating a path to economic stability

Long a provider of emergency relief, a nonprofit pivots to help clients earn a living wage and break the cycle of poverty.

Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry (BEAM) is looking to deepen the impact it makes among the 15% of Jacksonville, Florida, residents who live in poverty.footnote1 The community organization has recently expanded its mission from short-term intervention — such as food and rent assistance — to addressing the root causes of economic instability, including the challenges of managing financial stress and securing a job that pays a living wage.

By adding workforce development and financial education services to its program offerings, BEAM is aiming to give its clients the tools and resources needed to reach economic stability. With the support of Bank of America, BEAM is hiring a full-time career coach and training staff in financial coaching.

In particular, BEAM is adding more formalized career-building support to its Single Parent Program (SPP), which offers mothers and children health services, parenting and financial education sessions and assistance with affordable housing, transportation and child care for up to three years. By helping clients reduce debt, improve their credit scores, receive educational and vocational training and earn higher incomes, the SPP aims to put single moms on a path to economic self-sufficiency, helping them provide for their children and plan for their family’s future. The funding provided to BEAM is part of Bank of America’s $1.25 billion, five-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity.


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