Four Years of Brighter Futures: J. Wayne Leonard Prosperity Center

Time flies when you’re helping families become financially stable.

Maybe that’s not quite how the saying goes, but it’s hard to believe that we recently celebrated the fourth anniversary of United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s J. Wayne Leonard Prosperity Center in New Orleans.

Through the Prosperity Center’s financial capability programs – like financial education, asset building, benefits screening, income tax assistance, and more – we’re fighting intergenerational poverty and the inequities that perpetuate it

In its fourth year, the Prosperity Center helped clients achieve BIG results, including: 

  • $3.2 million in asset ownership/purchases through the IDA Project, including 19 homes, 3 vehicles, 14 small businesses, and 2 post-secondary educations.
  • An average increase of $1,500 in savings within six months.
  • 33 individuals established or increased their credit score, with an average improvement of 53 points within three months.
  • An average reduction of $583 in debt.
  • 41 clients opened a bank account.
  • 2,018 tax returns were prepared for free, helping individuals save money on costly preparers.

Thanks to funding from MacKenzie Scott, the Prosperity Center also helped 181 households struggling with the financial impacts of COVID-19 stay in their homes through over $400,000 in rental and mortgage assistance.

The whole community benefits when more working individuals and families are able to move from a financial tightrope to solid ground. The Prosperity Center’s results prove that United, we can equip our neighbors with the skills and resources they need to become financially stable.

P.S. In case you missed it, United Way SELA opened the Northshore Prosperity Center earlier this year, which now offers free public classes. I look forward to sharing more progress with you soon!

Living United, 

Head shot of Chiquita Lattimore

Chiquita Lattimore
Vice President, Financial Capability
United Way of Southeast Louisiana