In response to economic hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Family Independence Initiative – with the support of the City of Chicago and in partnership with the Illinois Cash Coalition and Chicago Independent Restaurants – has created an emergency fund to provide a one-time cash investment to people hardest hit.
Help us reach our goal of raising $3 million for Chicago residents.
Chicago is a city of strong neighborhoods. Historically this is a city built by neighbors helping neighbors plant roots, build homes, and create self sustaining communities.
Over the next four years, we will work with community based organizations and other partners to reach 1,000 families in multiple neighborhoods across Greater Chicago, with the support of lead investors, the City of Chicago and Google.org. By trusting and investing in families’ own solutions, FII families experience both economic and social mobility.
Poverty rates in Illinois are at the highest they’ve been in over 50 years. Children, women, and people of color have the highest rates, with 50% of black and Latino families affected.
Despite current challenges with violence and poverty in many metro areas, Chicagoans continue to invest in each other. Direct investment in their initiatives will accelerate mobility. Poverty rates in Illinois are at the highest they’ve been in over 50 years. Children, women, and people of color have the highest rates, with 50% of Black and Latino families affected.
FII National Average Outcomes
During the two years of engagement with FII, the average investment directly to a family is $2400. Using this investment, families grow their yearly income by $5,829 (or 2.4 times the investment) and their assets by $4,089 (or 1.7 times the investment). FII families also report a 55% decrease in subsidies such as TANF and SNAP. They increase their monthly savings account balance on average from $247 to $1,084 and their total liquid assets from $623 to $2,582.
Every month we ask families to report on how they help and receive help from their friends, family, and neighbors, and if those exchanges were monetized, how much money they would be worth. Reviewing this data, we discovered that FII families have exchanged an estimated $8 million in social capital through activities like watching each other’s children, cooking for one another, lending money, and other activities that contribute to strong, resilient communities. We expect Chicago families to see similar outcomes.