Financial Empowerment Center (FEC)

Financial Empowerment Workshops

The Tucson Urban League is proud to offer educational and informational to the general public at our location at 3425 E Grant Rd, just west of N. Palo Verde Avenue. Anyone who wants to improve their financial situation is welcome to attend these workshops, where experienced financial experts will share tips and strategies for improving your credit score, how to save for financial emergencies, how to save money for a house, how to set achievable financial goals, making good financial and life choices, and much more. These financial empowerment workshops are specially structured to support underprivileged Tucson region residents and reinforce our mission to reduce and eliminate poverty within our community.

The FEC model is designed to build on the organization’s existing economic empowerment and family support programs to develop the full complement of core service elements in the FEC pathways: 1) Employment Path, 2) Financial and Asset Building Path, and 3) Education Path. The program offers an integrate set of core services: Bridges Out of Poverty, Getting Ahead Workshops and/or MAMA: All customers will participate in 45 hour workshops that help individuals living in poverty build their resources for a more prosperous life for themselves, their families, and their communities; Employment and Career Development, including individual development pans, job readiness education, occupational skills training, job placement, transitional jobs, and career advancement. Comprehensive Financial literacy workshops, financial coaching, and Income supports, including access to public benefits, healthcare, childcare, etc. Education: Access to post-secondary education.

Women’s Empowerment

The program will help improve economic outcomes of the approximately 1700 low income women seeking utility and rental assistance from the Tucson Urban League each year. The TUL equips low income and unemployed women with increased competence, confidence, and connections so that they are better positioned to obtain employment, move out of poverty, and experience economic security. The TUL recognized that in the Utility and Rental Assistance program, 60% or our customers were returning every year for emergency services. This told us that we weren’t achieving our mission of economic empowerment for families. In response, TUL launched The Financial Empowerment Center (FEC), an integrated service delivery model, to assist low income families reach financial stability, increase their net worth, and become financially secure and upwardly mobile. The goals are to help families earn more, keep more of what they earn, begin to build savings and assets, and move up the economic ladder.

According to the 2012 Self-Sufficiency Standard for Arizona (SSSA), there are two basic approaches to close the income gap between low-wage work and what it really takes to make ends meet: reduce costs or raise income. Work supports help working families achieve stability without needing to choose between basic needs, such as scrimping on nutrition, and leaving children in unsafe environments. The TUL provides the following work supports programs and services: Affordable and Quality Childcare: TUL provides quality and affordable early childcare and school-age programming. As stated in the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona’s 2015 Research Report, “Providing childcare is the difference between being able to work vs staying at home for many mothers. Childcare impacts the economic self-sufficiency of women and their children over the long run.” Utility and Rental Assistance: Provides crisis emergency assistance to over 2200 households by preventing utility turnoff and evictions.

The SSSA Report also recommends that fully closing the wage gap requires increasing the skills of low income wage workers and asset building.  TUL provides the following: Employment and Training: A contracted agency of the Pima County Workforce Development One-stop. Once the customer’s needs and skills are assessed, they are connected to resources they need to gain economic success, including: individuals who have work skills are assisted with locating suitable employment; individuals who need to develop work skills are enrolled in work experience, training and/or education programs to prepare them for employment; and individuals determined unable to work are connected to other resources, such as Social Security disability benefits. The TUL serves WIA/WIOA eligible youth and adults. The eligible youth and adults also receive transportation assistance when transportation is necessary job search activities and childcare assistance. Benevolent Fund: The TUL partners with Pima County One-stop, and Pima Community college to administer the Benevolent Fund. The fund uses a crowdfunding model to enable individuals to make micro-donations to help cover smaller, one-time needs that often fall through the gaps in the social safety net, such as eyeglasses, work uniforms, security deposits, computers and transits passes. Policy Change: TUL partners to change Paid Sick Leave policies, raise wages, and led the Ban the Box initiative with City of Tucson and Pima County.


3425 E Grant Rd, just west of N. Palo Verde Avenue


Thursdays 10am – Noon

Topics of Future Classes

  • Learn more about your credit and why it’s so important
  • How to better manage your money
  • How to set achievable goals
  • The basics of banking services: an important step in financial independence
  • Understanding the basics of credit scoring
  • Avoiding common credit traps
  • Restoring your credit after times of financial hardship

Have Questions?

All are welcome to attend our financial empowerment workshops, but if you would like to learn more about upcoming workshops before you attend one, we invite you to contact Johanna Duffek for more information.

791-9522 x102