Allstate Financial Literacy Program
Thirteen women recently graduated from The Shelter’s Allstate Financial Literacy classes, sponsored by the Allstate Foundation. As a result of these classes, we continue to see participants meeting their financial goals. Most of our participants are meeting their goal to make monthly deposits into their Individual Development Account (IDA), which will be matched by The Shelter through the Allstate Foundation at the end of the one-year class.
Each month, participants meet with their Economic Empowerment Advocate to discuss personal financial goals, which may include things like resume building, job readiness, repairing credit, English classes, securing or advancing employment, and furthering their education to enhance their skills set.
Participants are also following the budget established with their advocate and are saving money, many of them for the first time in their lives. One participant saved enough funding to take part in the Habitat for Humanity program and now has a home for herself and her daughter.
The program also helps survivors create an emergency fund that will make it possible to leave their abusers. Victims of domestic violence who have more financial independence from their abusers are more likely to leave and remain violence free. To empower survivors, The Shelter has partnered with the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the National Network to End Domestic Violence and the Allstate Foundation to provide survivors with financial literacy.
Thanks to a grant from the Allstate Foundation, participants attend four financial classes in October and then continue with monthly individual counseling sessions with The Shelter’s Economic Empowerment Advocate for one year. At the beginning of the program, participants open an Individual Development Account at a designated bank and save on a monthly basis. After a year of saving, the women receive a match. The amount of the match depends on the funding received by The Shelter. Economic empowerment groups are also held in emergency shelter.
During the classroom portion of the program, participants learned about identity theft, budgeting and saving, banking options, credit basics, investments, car maintenance, insurance, taxes, housing, job readiness and more.
Leaving an abusive relationship is a process, not an event; survivors often return several times before the separation is permanent. Economic dependency is the strongest predictor of a survivor’s decision to remain, leave, or return to an abusive relationship.