The Bold Goals Coalition’s Financial Services Network (FSN) partners with eight nonprofit financial service providers to help people in Central Alabama achieve financial stability. During the next several months, these messages will feature members of the FSN Steering Committee as they highlight these partners’ incredible work, and offer their perspective on the impact of the FSN.
This month, weighing in on the power of collaboration is Patricia Burch, Chief Operating Officer at the Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity (Habitat Birmingham). Habitat Birmingham is a nonprofit organization that serves Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair and Walker counties and constructs quality houses that are sold to qualified homebuyers through no-profit, no-interest loans. To keep housing costs affordable, Habitat Birmingham engages more than 17,000 volunteers to operate its construction program, as well as ReStore, which is a discount home-improvement center that sells used furniture and building materials at a fraction of the original price.
During her 10 years at Habitat Birmingham, Ms. Burch has been deeply involved in many facets of the work her agency does to improve the overall financial stability of the Central Alabama community. As a member of the FSN Steering Committee, she draws on her experience to share innovative ideas and insights that help shape the network’s strategic and tactical directions. And she says the relationship is a two-way street – referring to the fact that she not only contributes but also receives helpful input from other network members. “It’s a benefit for us to be around other organizations dealing with the same challenges. The advice and ideas that are in the group are extremely helpful [to Habitat Birmingham],” said Ms. Burch.
She also sees a wonderful snowball effect resulting from various FSN partners working in concert. “We believe that financial stability and housing stability go hand-in-hand,” said Ms. Burch. “The FSN is vital in creating a collaborative environment to help move clients forward. Other organizations specialize in financial services that our clients use to become more stable and prepare for homeownership.” That’s what it’s all about.