Still have questions? Check out this list of frequently asked questions from prospective clients.
Who is Compass?
Compass is a nonprofit organization made up of people who care about empowering families of low income to achieve their financial goals and become financially secure. We don’t exist to make a profit – we raise enough money each year so that we can provide great programs to the families we serve.
What does Compass do?
Compass works with people of low-income to get control of their money and work towards big financial goals that can make life better for themselves and their families. We do this in a few ways: group workshops to build your financial knowledge and skills, one-to-one appointments with a financial coach to help you reach your financial goals, and access to ways to build your savings.
How do I know if I am eligible to enroll in a Compass program?
Compass currently operates several programs in partnerships with local housing authorities and certain housing, educational, and workforce organizations. These programs mostly serve families who live in subsidized housing in cities and towns in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Unfortunately, not everyone who is interested in our programs is eligible to enroll. We are working on ways to expand our programs so we can reach more families. To find out if you are eligible to enroll in one of our programs, complete and submit this form.
How do I enroll in the program?
To enroll, Compass requires that you register for and attend a program orientation and three financial education workshops. These workshops are held in the evenings and on weekends. Click here for a schedule of upcoming workshop and information on how to register. Once you complete the workshops, you can register for your first appointment with your financial coach.
What does the program cost?
The program is free to all eligible participants. The "cost" to you is your time and hard work to reach your financial goals.
Once I’m in the program, what will I be doing and how much time will it take?
After completing workshops and enrolling in the program, you will meet regularly with a financial coach. Clients typically meet with a coach four times in the first year of the program, and twice a year each year after that. Compass coaches are available for appointments during the weekday (including evenings) and on Saturdays.
Where do workshops and coaching appointments take place?
Financial education workshops may be located at Compass offices or at our partner locations. Click here for a schedule of workshops with locations.
Most financial coaching appointments take place at our offices. Your coach will tell you the location of your appointment when you schedule it. If you’re not sure where your next appointment is, click here to contact the person for your program or to find directions to the office for your program.
When is the next workshop?
Workshop dates and times can vary. Check out our calendar of financial education workshops here.
Do you ever come to my neighborhood?
Compass is always looking for new locations to offer our workshops so that we can be closer to the families we serve. Please look at our calendar for upcoming workshops in your neighborhood.
Will this affect my housing voucher?
No. Participating in the FSS program does not put you “on the clock” with your housing voucher. After graduating from the program, you may still utilize the voucher as long as you are eligible.
Do you offer childcare during workshops or coaching sessions?
Children who are able to sit quietly during the workshops or coaching sessions are welcomed to attend, as long as they do not disturb the classroom or appointment setting. We are currently looking for ways to offer more robust child care services during our workshops, so please check back with us at a later time.
What should I bring with me to the workshop?
You don’t need to bring anything to the workshops. All the necessary paperwork, pens, and workbooks will be provided. At most of our workshops, dinner is also provided.
Can my friend/cousin/sibling/spouse/child come with me?
Your guests are welcome to attend our financial education workshops. Please have them contact the program to reserve a workshop seat as space is limited. For a list of contact information by program location, click here.
Do you ever offer your programs in languages other than English?
At Compass, it is important to us that all eligible and motivated clients have access to our programs, including those from diverse communities. Our financial education workshops and coaching sessions are typically held in English. If you or someone you know requires language accommodations, please let us know. Members of our staff are also able to provide coaching and support in Spanish and Haitina-Creole. With advance notice, we are also able to have interpreters present for our financial education workshops and coaching sessions in Amharic.
This seems too good to be true. What’s the catch?
Here’s the catch: Joining Compass requires that you (1) believe in yourself, (2) are ready to commit to achieving your financial goals, and (3) are willing to invest in yourself and your family by taking steps to reach those goals with the support of your financial coach and Compass. Compass is a non-profit organization, which means we measure how well we’re doing by the progress families make in our programs. Our financial coaching and services are free to all enrolled families.