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Office of Financial Empowerment & Protection

The Office of Financial Empowerment (OFEP) works to improve residents’ economic mobility by identifying and bridging gaps through collaborative efforts with internal and external partners while developing solutions through programs, policies and best practices to help stabilize families and individuals.

Check out our OFEP fact sheet to learn more.

Through the Denver Financial Empowerment Centers, OFEP provides free one-on-one financial coaching to help residents of Metro Denver reduce debt, develop savings and establish and improve their credit rating. Site locations are subject to change. Click here for a current list of site locations

The OFEP’s Bank On Denver helps unbanked or underbanked residents in Metro Denver establish free or low-cost checking and savings accounts while accessing options to improve their credit rating.

Programs and Services

Bank On is a national program model that was first established in New York City in 2012 by the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund [insert hyperlink: http://cfefund.org/] to create meaningful and productive partnerships with municipalities across the U.S. to target and serve the community’s most vulnerable residents. Through partnerships with national and local financial institutions, the banking needs of low- to moderate-income residents are addressed, connecting the unbanked and underbanked individuals and families to safe and affordable financial products and services. Bank On clients are referred by our partners at nine financial empowerment centers across the Denver metro area. Bank On Denver was established in 2013, with thousands of clients served through our Financial Empowerment Centers across the Denver Metro area.

The Consumer Financial Protection Division is a newly created arm of the Office of Financial Empowerment & Protection to address impending changes in the federal role of consumer protection by addressing education, prevention, enforcement, policy and supportive services including counseling and navigation for residents of the City and County of Denver.

This program was developed to proactively seize and address the opportunities that exist to expand and better coordinate our current state of consumer protections to provide safeguards for our residents. The establishment of an official Consumer Financial Protection Division will pioneer the way that the City and County of Denver protects and enhances the lives of all players in the marketplace, including consumers, businesses and employees, and how that work ultimately fosters stronger, more sustainable and thriving communities.

Learn more here. 

The Denver Financial Empowerment Centers offer free one-on-one financial coaching that help residents reduce debt, develop savings, establish credit and increase credit scores, while gaining access to banking services, energy assistance, housing assistance and free tax preparation. There are nine FEC locations in Denver and Aurora. The FEC has helped clients reduce their overall debt load by more than $5 million and establish savings of more than $1.5 million (March 2013 – January 2019).

Financial Empowerment Centers

Graphic of the financial ecosystemThe Financial Empowerment Innovation Hub serves as an information source that offers fresh and collaborative solutions to residents based on a five-prong economic ecosystem comprised of housing, transportation, workforce development, health/wellness and childcare/education options while aligning with government agencies and nonprofits to intentionally connect financial empowerment strategies to establish economic stability.

The Financial Empowerment Training Network provides standardized and relevant training for Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) coaches and service providers, encouraging them to help clients resolve the financial issues that are contributing factors to their inherent need for services. In addition to coach training, the training center focuses on training human services employees and direct service providers with the basics in financial empowerment coaching, motivating these employees and service providers with the necessary tools required to integrate the financial coaching curriculum into their daily work.

Learn more here.

The Regional Economic Mobility Network brings together city service providers including like Denver Human Services and the Office of Economic Development & Opportunity with nonprofits, for-profits, banks and regulators to best coordinate financial empowerment services to effectively measure their success while identifying and addressing gaps that help Denver residents achieve economic mobility.

We collaborate with:

  • Denver Office of Economic Development & Opportunity
  • Denver Human Services
  • Denver Housing Authority
  • District Attorney’s office
  • Mayor’s Office
  • Numerous agencies with the State of Colorado
  • Denver Workforce
  • Denver Great Kids Head Start

Contact Us

Jason Salas, Director
jason.salas@denvergov.org
720.913.8462

Ron Ojeda,
Consumer Financial Protection Division
ron.ojeda@denvergov.org
720.913.8472

Marcia Romero, Communications Manager
marcia.romero@denvergov.org
720.913.8425

Ken Seeley,
Collaboration and Evaluation Specialist
ken.seeley@denvergov.org
720.913.8854

Lorelei Sommers,
Grants Coordinator
lorelei.sommers@denvergov.org
720.913.8470

Alvin Tafoya, Program Manager
alvin.tafoya@denvergov.org
720.913.8855

 
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Upcoming Events

4th annual Regional Economic Mobility Summit, Friday, Nov. 15 (tentative date), Denver, CO