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Building on our Solid Foundation

by Marnie Schaetti

From his new perspective as executive director of Momentum, Jeff Loomis sees the past year as a clear demonstration of resilience. Despite a difficult beginning of the year due to revenue challenges, Momentum rebounded strongly, relying on a very solid foundation.
Over the years, quality has been built into every corner of the organization. Highly skilled and motivated staff members use a proven economic approach to poverty reduction. In 2014, Momentum’s well-designed programs worked with over 4,000 participants who learned a trade, launched a business, developed money management skills and built assets.

“By every measure—and Momentum measures just about everything!—this year was a success.”
– Jeff Loomis

All levels of the community and government showed strong support for the work we do together. Provincial government funding that was cut early in the year was replaced and even augmented by the end of the year. It was the most successful year ever for fund development, with donations large and small making it possible for us to move forward.
We know that we cannot make a big enough change without working with others, so we continued to focus very successfully on our community leadership work. We trained staff members in 41 organizations to use our Financial Literacy curriculum, and they then delivered these programs to 1,155 of their own participants. We worked with government and businesses toward policy change, notably around the issue of access to safe,
affordable financial services and the restriction of payday lenders.
Our success in 2014 validates our confidence in the work we do. It validates Jeff’s belief in the economic and social value of Momentum’s mission, and is the reason he feels optimistic about the future.
At the core of Momentum’s success are the programs. We will continue to evaluate, refine and improve them to find the best ways to help people get good jobs, skills training and micro-loan opportunities.
We look forward to working with Vibrant Communities Calgary to guide implementation of Enough for All—Calgary’s poverty reduction strategy. Leveraging our expertise and experience, we will work with our partners to advance Financial Empowerment activities so that more Calgarians have the assets they need to thrive. For example, we will be working with First Calgary Financial in the development of the Cash Crunch Loan, which is a safe and affordable alternative to payday loans.
The solid foundation that Momentum has built with persistence and consistency over time provides a stable, resilient platform as we move into the coming year. Jeff feels blessed by the opportunity to continue building on that foundation.

Check out other stories from Perspectives: the 2014 year in review.