The J. Wayne Leonard Prosperity Center
The J. Wayne Leonard Prosperity Center is our one-stop financial stability center offering an array of programming to the residents of New Orleans including financial education and coaching, credit building and counseling, benefits screening, and income tax assistance.
Located inside United Way’s offices on Canal Street, this facility also houses United Way’s IDA Project, a matched savings account program helping low-income individuals purchase long-term assets through a 4:1 match of their own savings. The program is addressing the challenges of intergenerational poverty by providing opportunities for participants to purchase a new home or vehicle, start or expand a small business, or pay for post-secondary education – all through their IDA accounts.
Financial Capability Specialists are trained to help you understand your financial position; identify obstacles to your financial success, and establish a plan to achieve your financial goals.
All individuals eligible to access the J. Wayne Leonard Prosperity Center’s services must be referred by one of the five opportunity centers:
- STRIVE Nola
- Total Community Action (TCA)
- Goodwill Industries
- Urban League of Greater New Orleans
J. Wayne Leonard Prosperity Center participants begin their path to financial freedom by accessing any of our financial capability services:
- Financial Education – Group seminars covering a broad spectrum of financial topics
- Financial Coaching – Ongoing one-on-one interactions empowering participants to address short to long-term financial issues
- Credit Improvement Services – Counseling services designed to identify and prioritize credit-building strategies
- Access to Safe and Affordable Financial Products – Provide alternative options to high-cost financial service providers (e.g. check cashers and payday lenders)
- Access to Federal and State Benefits – Comprehensive screening to determine federal and state eligibility for participants
- Free Tax Preparation Assistance – Inclusive tax preparation services integrated with financial education
- Incentivized Savings Program – Matched savings program designed to encourage savings behavior for specified assets
- Asset Ownership Programs – Wealth building programming designed to help participants purchase and maintain assets, such as a home, business, or obtaining an education
- workforce development soft skills – a combination of soft skills training that enables participants to navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well and achieve employment
About the J. Wayne Leonard Prosperity Center
J. Wayne Leonard, the Prosperity Center’s namesake and longest-serving head of Entergy Corporation, facilitated more than $50 million in charitable donations through Entergy aimed at moving people out of poverty and improving early childhood education. Mr. Leonard was awarded United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s prestigious Tocqueville Society Award in 2017. During his powerful and inspiring acceptance speech, Mr. Leonard offered a surprise gift of $1 million toward UWSELA’s anti-poverty agenda. Entergy matched the generous gesture with a surprise $1 million gift of their own.
For years to come, Mr. Leonard's legacy will positively impact the people of Southeast Louisiana.
United Way has recognized that many of our community’s social issues are rooted in poverty and we’ve put a stake in the ground around creating innovative solutions with our partners. United, we will eradicate poverty in Southeast Louisiana. And the J. Wayne Leonard Prosperity Center is a critical step in the right direction.
Locations & Hours
Organizations interested in partnering with United Way’s prosperity centers may contact ChiquitaL@UnitedWaySELA.org for assistance.