Economic Empowerment Program

Learn More About Economic Empowerment Program EvaluationA lack of financial stability is one of the biggest deterrents for women who are considering leaving an abusive relationship. Leaving the economic security of a home, income, and benefits is more than many survivors of domestic violence can fathom – especially if they have children. In 2002, KCADV’s Economic Empowerment Program took root when the directors of KCADV’s 15 member programs identified helping survivors become economically self-sufficient as a top priority.

The first step was creating an Individual Development Account, or IDA, program. IDAs are restricted savings accounts designated for a specific asset goal. Participants in KCADV’s Classic IDA program pledge to save for a home, education, or small business, and their savings are matched 4:1. As of September 2016, about 132 account holders from KCADV member programs and community partners are receiving financial education and one-on-one financial coaching while they save for a long-term asset. Nearly 503 participants have used their funds to purchase a home, fund post-secondary education, or start or expand a small business. The Car IDA program helps domestic violence survivors purchase reliable transportation to improve employment and housing opportunities, by matching savings dollar-for-dollar up to $2000. Approximately 64 survivors are currently enrolled, and 135 have purchased cars with their savings and earned match.  At the start of 2016, KCADV introduced a new Matched Savings IDA program that provides a 1:1 match up to $200 for survivors to establish an emergency savings account or use towards other expenses.

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