Posted on February 19th, 2013 –
FII is designed to learn how low-income and working poor families build economic and social mobility to move out of poverty toward middle-class stability. Families within the FII network set their own priorities and drive their own efforts to improve their lives, within an environment of strong social connections and access to initiative-based resources. FII encourages families to form groups that meet regularly for mutual support. Families are able to access FII’s resource bank, which includes a social networking website, matches to savings, and low-interest loans.
The study, conducted by the third party evaluation firm See Change Evaluation, collected interviews, surveys, and financial data from 34 families (148 individuals) that have been involved with FII’s Boston project over a two-year period, along with a newer group of 175 families who have been involved for one year.
Posted on October 1st, 2011 –
The Family Independence Initiative (FII) is an approach to alleviating poverty that begins with the assumption that we have underestimated the capacity of families in low-income neighborhoods to improve their financial and general well-being. FII is structured around the idea that what families most need to lift themselves out of poverty is a sense of control over their daily lives, an awareness of the options available to them, a diverse and active social network that provides support, and expands those options. Rather than import these assets into a community, FII begins by identifying where they already exist.
FII’s rationale for its approach makes intuitive sense, but the organization is interested in aligning its approach with what we currently understand about human motivation and behavior. To address this issue, See Change conducted a literature review, and prepared this paper.
Posted on April 1st, 2011 – In June of 2010 152 individuals, including 81 children, from 35 families enrolled in FII’s Boston demonstration project. This report shares and examines the extraordinary results of the first six months. In that time the families worked together and made tremendous progress toward the goals they set for themselves.
Posted on April 1st, 2011 – In this paper, published by the New America Foundation, FII Founder and CEO Maurice Lim Miller outlines FII's model for breaking the cycle of poverty, which shows promising results in three separate demonstration projects. As Miller looks to grow his idea, he has found that this approach—which puts the target families and individuals in the driver’s seat of their own progress, does not require professional social service workers, and relies more on the assets of the families themselves—is not only a tough sell to public and private funders, but has faced direct opposition from incumbent service providers. In this essay, Miller explores a range of barriers and roadblocks to growing or scaling social innovations.
Posted on February 1st, 2011 – The New America Foundation extracts key findings from FII's work and puts forth the potential policy implications, calling on policy makers and advocates to examine FII's philosophical underpinnings and its approaches, and consider how similar models could be implemented into state or national programs.
Posted on January 19th, 2011 – The purpose of this report is to document the validation process that FII uses to gather and verify family data, and to provide an independent review of selected financial data from the San Francisco site.
Posted on January 19th, 2011 – The purpose of this report is to present baseline findings of family characteristics and an early assessment of change for families in Boston. These findings guided the creation of an evaluation framework for ongoing data collection and analysis of the Boston site.
Posted on January 1st, 2011 –
FII is structured around the idea that what families most need to lift themselves out of poverty is a sense of control over their daily lives, an awareness of the options available to them, and a diverse and active social network that provides support, and expands those options. Rather than import these assets into a community, FII begins by identifying where they already exist. FII invests in families as they lead change in their own lives, building and sustaining both social and economic assets.
This report presents baseline findings of family characteristics and an early assessment of change for families in FII's Boston Demonstration. These findings guided the creation of an evaluation framework for ongoing data collection and analysis of the Boston site.
Posted on January 1st, 2011 – This report documents the validation process that FII uses to gather and verify family data, and provides an independent review of selected financial data from FII's San Francisco demonstration project.
Posted on June 1st, 2009 – This two-year report, released in June of 2009, summarizes results and lessons from FII's San Francisco demonstration. In mid-2007 the Family Independence Initiative (FII) enrolled 16 low-income families in San Francisco, CA. The first families made tremendous gains in income, debt reduction, and children's grades, among other things. Eighteen months later the success of these first 36 adults and 50 children/teens inspired almost 200 additional families to ask to join FII so they could follow the success of the first families.