Washington, D.C — A new report by My New Red Shoes and Tahirih Justice Center analyzes the experiences and learnings from the pilot cohort of its Project Empower, a first-of-its-kind guaranteed income program that provided $1000 a month to 10 Tahirih clients – all survivors of domestic violence with a child or children – for six months. The new report shows that pilot participants were able to build savings, establish long-term banking, and get closer to attaining their long-term financial goals as a result of the unconditional, regular cash transfers.
“Domestic violence survivors, navigating a new country, often in a different language than their native language, are very resourceful,” said Morgan Weibel, Executive Director of Tahirih’s San Francisco Bay Area office. “Project Empower focused on removing structural barriers through financial stability and autonomy so the participants could stand in their own power. We knew that if we can show the impact of this project among the most marginalized in our communities, people can see that guaranteed income can help a lot of people.”
Project Empower is a guaranteed income program for survivors by survivors. It is a first-of-its-kind guaranteed income program that focuses specifically on immigrant survivors of gender-based violence and their children. The pilot participants co-designed the project through a robust initial survey, which asked about participants’ financial access, barriers, and long-term goals.
“Guaranteed income fosters stability, equity, and empowerment. We are so proud to have partnered and co-created this high-impact pilot with Tahirih and their clients,” said Minh Ngo, Executive Director of My New Red Shoes. “By receiving these funds and the supportive services that Tahirih provides, survivors had the financial stability and flexibility they need to plan for their long-term financial future.”
Immigrant survivors of gender-based violence in the United States are left to face tremendous obstacles that are unsafe and unstable. They are often left to wait many years for the resolution of their legal cases, and they do that often with limited support. The long wait time heightens their financial and emotional distress.
Local, state, and national guaranteed income pilot programs have begun to emerge across the country and are proven to combat income inequalities by increasing economic stability, reducing food and housing insecurity, expanding access to healthcare, and improving the well-being of children.
Tahirih and My New Red Shoes are planning to launch a second cohort in 2023.
To arrange an interview with Morgan Weibel, contact [email protected]
To arrange an interview with Minh Ngo, contact [email protected].
My New Red Shoes’ (MNRS) mission is to improve the quality of life and well-being of children and youth experiencing economic hardship by ensuring access to basic needs. Through cash transfers and the delivery of essential items, MNRS’ work helps to meet the basic needs of marginalized families, boost children’s sense of security, stability and normalcy, and strengthen the community social safety net. Since 2006, MNRS has helped to uplift more than 200,000 children and their family members in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. To learn more, go to https://mynewredshoes.org/
The Tahirih Justice Center is a national, nonprofit organization that serves immigrant women, girls, and all survivors of gender-based violence. By amplifying the experiences of survivors, Tahirih’s mission is to create a world in which all people share equal rights and live in safety and with dignity. To learn more, go to https://www.tahirih.org/