Business Resource Network - Success Stories

​The Oakland County Business Resource Network (BRN) tackles employee retention challenges by addressing barriers that impact one’s ability to focus on their career/job. The BRN success coaches work with employees on-site to address a variety of barriers. They provide assistance, referrals and other resources to their clients on a confidential, one-on-one basis.

 Meet our Success Coaches


Success Coach Nykol Baker

Success Coach Jamesha Barber

Success Coach Erica Mejia

​H​elping with Housing and Other Bills

Julie was unemployed for a significant amount of time and struggling to pay bills. After securing employment at a BRN member company, she met with a success coach who assisted with accessing housing support resources

She received assistance paying past due bills and was enrolled in a water payment assistance program. Additionally, she was connected with a holiday gift program for her children. The recipient appreciated the support in helping her emerge from the crisis situation.

Assisting with Reliable Transportation

Mark’s vehicle needed extensive repairs, forcing him to pay for Uber rides to and from work, costing $800 per month. The BRN success coach helped him apply for assistance from a local foundation to pay for the vehicle repair.  The foundation approved his application and provided the funds to fix Mark’s vehicle.  He once again has reliable transportation to work.  Mark continues to work with the success coach to obtain money management skills and budget for future emergency repairs.

Coping with Family Tragedies

The tragic loss of a child, death of a parent and a stroke was devastating to a long-time employee. Bill dealt with the emotional situation and his medical emergency, but it was a struggle because he was the family’s sole provider.  Financial obligations began to be neglected, including rent payments. 

The BRN success coach identified resources to provide rental assistance, money management and grieving support for the entire family. These resources have helped alleviate some of the family’s financial struggles, cope with loss, and helped the employee to again focus on his work. 

​Identifying a Lending Scam

Christine was caught in a financial bind and decided to acquire an $800 payday loan with an exorbitant interest rate.  Incredibly, the total interest to be paid over a 20-month period would be more than $4,000. She discussed her situation with the BRN success coach, who explored the legitimacy of the loan with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Michigan Attorney General’s Office and other watchdog groups. It was determined the loan company was not licensed in the state of Michigan. A complaint was filed and the financial obligation was relieved. The employee was issued a refund for the money paid up to that point.

​Building a Budget

A temporary layoff impacted an employee financially. When Bill returned to work at a BRN member company, he met with his success coach to form a plan to build savings for unforeseen circumstances. The two worked together to establish a monthly budget and explore saving strategies

Bill also attended a financial wellness workshop. Within three months, he was able to save $1,600. The key was separating true needs from wants, and then adjusting his spending and saving habits. Putting money away in savings each month, he now feels much better prepared for the future.

​Avoiding Eviction

Mark, a single father of three, lost his job and fell behind in his rent payments. He received an eviction notice and, despite landing a new job, was not able to pay the full amount owed with his first check. His new employer, however, was a BRN member and a success coach was able to secure funds to help pay the remaining balance to the landlord and avoid eviction. Mark was very appreciative and he still meets with his success coach to help with budgeting and plan for his family’s long-term success.

A Sole Provider’s Lifeline

Marie contacted the BRN success coach because she was struggling to pay her family’s bills each month.  Marie was the sole financial provider, since her partner could not work anymore due to health issues.  Her biggest concern was falling behind in rent and incurring late fees. After discussing a number of assistance options, the employee applied for and received a small grant to pay the balance of her monthly rent, which enabled the family to avoid eviction. The grateful employee said the BRN success coach was her last option for help.