Stephanie, saving for her daughter's college education

For families living in poverty, it can feel like the odds are stacked against you.

You want to get ahead, but it can be difficult just to get by. The goals and dreams you have for yourself and your children often seem to lose out to tough choices on how to make it to the end of the week or month. And, the places you may turn for support – such as programs in our public welfare and housing systems – can feel set up to make those choices even harder, rather than offering a way forward.

At Compass, we believe that all families deserve the opportunity to save for and invest in their future. And, we believe that anti-poverty programs should tap into people’s deeply held aspirations and invest in people’s abilities to transform their own lives.

We combine these beliefs with a commitment to the role that assets and financial capabilities play in helping families to access greater economic opportunity, and move up and out of poverty. We know that assets matter because they provide a cushion in times of economic distress and provide the capital that all of us need to make investments in the kinds of things that move our families forward, like homeownership, education, a business, and savings. Assets also provide hope, and a stronger orientation toward the future.

To build assets, you need a few things: financial capabilities, strong financial guidance, and access to high-quality financial products and services. All three of these things are typically out of reach for families with low incomes.

Compass is changing that. Through our work, we are putting the tools to build assets and financial capabilities into the hands of families with low incomes, and supporting families to use those tools to reach their financial goals and dream.