Since 2010, FII-Greater Boston has been demonstrating how families can transform their neighborhoods and the city while serving as a model for FII’s national expansion.
FII–Greater Boston and its family partners are leading the movement to change the stereotypes and perceptions of low-income working families and are demonstrating a new way to invest in their efforts.
FII-Greater Boston, launched in 2010 and has quickly grown to the largest site in FII’s national network. In 2019, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) and the City of Boston, we launched a 3-year pilot project called the Trust and Invest Collaborative. The initiative is a systems transformation research and learning pilot where the FII model will be layered on to traditional DTA services and benefits through DTA’s Boston-area offices.
We believe, and 9 years of experience confirms that the long-term solutions to permanently exit poverty lie within one’s own community. Rather than imposing solutions from the top down as traditional social service agencies do, FII fuels the solutions to economic and social mobility that families uncover and develop for themselves through deep trust and direct cash investment. Today, FII–Greater Boston partners with nearly 1,000 families within the diverse neighborhoods of East Boston, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Roxbury, and in the City of Cambridge. Through these family partnerships, we are shifting the way that Greater Boston’s communities and families living with low-incomes are perceived and how systems invest in them. Already, these families are leading the way on this nationwide movement.
Total Number of UpTogether Fund Dollars Allocated to Families over time
Number of Touchpoints in UpTogether
Boston & Cambridge: Family Metrics
On average, during 2 years of engagement with FII:
Total estimated amount FII families have exchanged through social capital activities
Total estimated amount FII families have exchanged through social capital activities like watching each others children, cooking for one another, lending money, and etc.
Average increase in monthly income
Median baseline annual income for the average family of three is $20,400/year or 96% of the federal poverty line. After two years of engagement with FII, the median annual income is $24,000/year or 113% of the poverty line.
Average increase in total liquid assets
On average, during 2 years of engagement with FII, families report an increase in their total liquid assets from $335 to $3,042.
Average decrease in subsidies such as TANF and SNAP
On average, during 2 years of engagement with FII, families report a 60% decrease in subsidies such as TANF and SNAP.
The overall economic impact of a family’s increased spending on the cash economy, government revenue, and social capital engagement is $15,180 over the two years they partner with FII.
Over the two years they are enrolled in FII, the average investment directly to a family is $3,200. A small investment has huge returns. The overall economic impact of a family’s increased spending on the cash economy, government revenue, and social capital engagement is $15,180 over the two years they partner with FII.
Boston & Cambridge | Housing
Hi, My name is Tome’ Andrade and I am a proud FII-Boston family partner. One simple question which repeated itself each month in the journals – “What actions have you taken towards your goals since last month?” – changed my relationship with my goal creating accountability and thrust me into gear to reach my goals.
- Accomplished my goal of purchasing a home in 2016!
- In two years, I grew my credit score from 628 to 750
FII-Greater Boston Director
National Executive Director and Co-Founder, Greenlight Fund
Former Senior Lecturer, Practice of Philanthropy, Harvard Kennedy School
Former Senior Philanthropic Officer, Pilot House Associates
President, Cambridge Community Foundation
President, EOS Foundation
Executive Director, GreenLight Fund Boston
Thousands of families across the country are shifting long-held perceptions of low-income communities and changing our practice and policy approaches to poverty. Join us as we trust and invest in their initiatives.
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