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Unifying Health and Wealth in Community-based Social Services Programs

Prosperity Now

By LaToya Lowery

This article originally appeared at Prosperity Now.

A hispanic woman with long, dark hair stands at a podium. A black man with his hands clasped in front of him stands next to her.

Over the past couple of years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the connections between health and wealth have become more apparent. To learn more about how Community Champion, Catalyst Miami, strategically incorporates and unifies health and wealth in their economic justice and social services programs across the city, we sat down with Alyssa Delgado, Catalyst Miami’s Senior Prosperity Manager for their Community Economic Development department.

Alyssa comes from a mental health background, having received a B.A. in Psychology and a master’s degree in Social Work from Florida International University. While in graduate school in early 2019, Alyssa interned at Catalyst Miami while learning to navigate the world of macro Social Work. Alyssa soon transitioned into full-time staff and began delivering health and wealth services to the community. Being introduced to the world of economic justice and equitable asset building, she connected her experiences to form an eclectic coaching style targeting the well-being of those most vulnerable. Over time, she engaged in other aspects of the non-profit world, determined to learn as much as she could, such as grant writing, monitoring data and deliverables, advocating at the state-level, drafting policy, engaging communities and collaborating on research. In her current role, Alyssa supervises all health coaches and coordinators and oversees projects related to wealth programming and organizational cohesion. Having attained certification as a Master-Level Practitioner in Financial Capability as well as being a state-certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) tax preparer and Site Coordinator, she has developed strong resource connections and financial planning skills that colleagues, partners and community members benefit from.

Concurrently, Alyssa is also a clinical psychotherapist in South Florida treating court-mandated individuals and those recently incarcerated, as well as adults and children (7-17) struggling with trauma, anxiety and depression. She is a strong advocate for policy reform and participates in various local government meetings and community events, specifically those related to health reform, economic justice, and women's rights. She will be going to law school in the near future where her end goal is to eventually be chosen to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Alyssa is wearing a navy Catalyst Miami shirt that says " Health, Wealth, Prosperity, Resilience & My Future". She is standing next to a mixed-race family in front of a public park.

Hi Alyssa, thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Could you share a little bit more about your role with Catalyst Miami?

My role at Catalyst is one of many trades. My background in social work allows me to participate in various organizational projects and initiatives that require systems thinking. My main role is being the Prosperity Coaching Manager in the department of Community Economic Development where I supervise and lead direct services in wealth and health wellness. This includes benefits enrollment, resource sharing, financial literacy, asset building, money management, credit repair and establishment, tax preparation, advocacy work, and overall program planning & management.

Overall, how has 2022 been for your organization?

2022 has been a year of expansion, gratitude and overall change. We have prioritized staff wellness and inclusivity (e.g. improved PTO policies, increased salaries, encouraged team bonding, introduced more capacity-building), strengthened our mission through collaborative work with partners (e.g. more grants, more initiatives, joined more pilot projects, enhanced programs with DEI perspectives) and have dedicated more time to being transparent and accountable about finding long-term solutions for the needs of our communities, including data feedback systems, sharing annual report findings publicly, encouraging community participation in strategic planning.

What is your current model for delivery of services; remote, hybrid or in-person?

Delivery of services are currently remote while our outreach efforts are beginning to broaden out to in-person once again. We are estimating more in-person delivery of services beginning in February 2023.

What are your organization’s goals for the remainder of 2022?

Our goals for the remainder of the year are to prioritize and finalize our new strategic plan for 2023-2025, incorporate sustainable internal perspective shifts through a racial and gender justice lens and produce breakthrough products and programs through a theory of change model.

How has your experience been working with Prosperity Now?

It has been wonderful, honestly. It’s such a good feeling to feel like you’re both learning and contributing your knowledge in the same space. I have made great connections, both personal and professional, which have allowed for growth opportunities and network expansion. I feel more confident in myself as a non-profit leader as a result.


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