Project Empower is a first-of-its-kind guaranteed income (GI) program designed to support immigrant survivors of gender-based violence. This program offered unconditional, regular cash transfers of $1000 per month to 10 Tahirih clients, all survivors of domestic violence with a child or children, for six months. A new report from Tahirih and our partner, My New Red Shoes, discusses the experiences and lessons learned from the first cohort.
Immigrant survivors of gender-based violence in the United States are often left to wait many years for the resolution of their legal cases, and they do so with limited support. These long wait times heighten financial and emotional distress. Through this program, participants were able to build savings, establish long-term banking, and get closer to attaining their long-term financial goals as a result of unconditional, regular cash transfers.
Guaranteed income is a type of direct cash payment program that provides unconditional cash to individuals or households. GI pilot programs have begun to emerge across the country and are combating income inequalities by increasing economic stability, reducing food and housing insecurity, expanding access to healthcare, and improving the well-being of children.
“For me, this program was perfect the way it is. It has been a blessing to me because it has helped me on a month-to-month basis in many ways like paying my rent and food. This has been such a blessing for me.”
– Jane, Project Empower participant
Evidence and research have shown that providing cash at critical junctures in a person’s life can achieve long-term positive outcomes and help break the cycle of poverty in marginalized communities. Project Empower enables immigrants to reach financial independence, resilience, stronger communities, and hope for a greater future.