Save First, Live Well

To Our Community,

It is with a heavy heart that we announce Save First Financial Wellness will be closing our doors at Catholic Charities of Oregon after a fruitful 13 years of serving over 20,000 members of the Portland metro and beyond.

Our final day with Catholic Charities of Oregon will be in the middle of June, but our hope is to find a new home for our program so our services can continue to be available. We are currently exploring options with community partners that should lead to a continuation of our services later in 2023, so please continue to check back for updates on how this is progressing.

Starting on April 25th, 2023, Save First will no longer have capacity to take general clients from the community as our remaining staff focus on closing out our current contract and grant responsibilities. For community members seeking help, please visit this blog post for information on alternative services that may be available to you.

Our sincerest thank you to everyone who has made our work possible -- more updates to come!

Financial stability is fundamental to our basic needs.

When we don’t have our money matters in order, we can struggle to provide the food, clothing, shelter, education, and healthcare we all need to thrive. And many of us don’t realize just how financially vulnerable our friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers may be. It doesn’t take much to all of a sudden find yourself in financial trouble—unsure how to dig out of the red so you can carry on with living your life.

Across the country, 50% of Americans do not have $400 in their savings to be able to weather an unexpected financial hardship. Having a solid financial foundation in place can be the key to ensuring a better quality of life for yourself and those who depend on you.

How We Came to Be

Save First Financial Wellness started in 2010 as an economic empowerment program of Catholic Charities of Oregon, initially assisting Providence Health & Services manage their “Helping Hand Fund”-- a pool of money supported by Providence employees to help their fellow caregivers meet unexpected financial hardships. Save First expanded its program in 2011 to offer a full suite of financial wellness service. Today, Save First provides financial wellness services to 10+ corporate employers and community partners.

As Save First grew into this unique social enterprise of Catholic Charities of Oregon we formed an advisory council to assist in that process. To see who is on our advisory council, please Click Here.

Our Mission

While your situation is your business, helping you get on top of your finances is ours. At Save First Financial Wellness, we believe that anyone with the right balance of support, resources, and determination can get their money matters in order. It starts by making saving a part of your everyday lifestyle. Sure, there’s more to it, but saving is honestly the first step forward on the path to financial freedom.

We’re in this together. Let Save First be your beacon of hope, accompanying you every step of the way on your journey to financial wellbeing!


Our Team

Molly O'Donnell
Molly O'Donnell
Executive Director
Randy Lucas
Randy Lucas
Asset Building Program Manager
Neil Young
Neil Young
Assistant Director of Operations
Olga Johnson
Olga Johnson
Manager of SW Washington Programming

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