Low-income families face systemic barriers to building assets partly due to challenges with accessing capital, labor market segregation, and extractive practices and policies. This is especially evident for communities of color (source). Wealth, underpinned by savings and assets, provides families an opportunity to get ahead. Accessing assets, helps families improve their lives and the life of their children.
Through United Way’s Lubert Individual Development Account (IDA) Program, people can build their assets through matched savings for homeownership, post-secondary education, and small business expansion. Now in its 5th year, the Lubert Individual Development Account (IDA) Program continues to help individuals and families build assets, leading to greater stability over time.
In FY21, 103 people graduated from the program with 49 people participating in Education, 40 people participating in Homeownership and 14 people participating in the Small Business matched savings program. In total, $701,125 was matched with $289,500 in graduate savings.
Meet three of our graduates and learn more about their experience with United Way's Lubert Individual Development Account (IDA) Program.
Ms. Hill: Journey to become a licensed nurse
Graduate of the Post-secondary Education IDA Program
Ms. Hill enrolled in the Education IDA Program with the hopes of furthering her nursing career. She had a focused goal for her education and career, but finances were a barrier. While enrolled in the IDA program through community partner Open Hearth, Ms. Hill learned the importance of discipline in savings. She took courses on credit, budgeting and how to pay for college.
In addition to learning these skills, Ms. Hill hoped to be able to pass this knowledge and the fruit of her education down to her children. After completing the program, Ms. Hill successfully saved, received her match and is now one step closer to becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse. The Education IDA program had such an impact that Ms. Hill enrolled in it for a second time.
Thailen Griffin: Finding a place to call home
Graduate of the Homeownership IDA Program
Thailen Griffin always dreamed of buying her own home and making sure her son had a place to call home. In her own words, Thailen describes the feeling of being able to accomplish her goal of homeownership, "Now that the day is finally here it does not seem real. I feel like I owed this accomplishment to myself but more so to my son."
"The Homeownership IDA program and United Way has helped me tremendously with achieving this goal and I am extremely grateful. The money that United Way has provided me, made my settlement day go by super smooth. Plus, with low cash to close amount, I was able to save some extra cash on my end and complete some dream home renovations, and furnish about 75% of my home which made my move-in transition feel more like home."
Rashaan Hornsby: Growing his business to promote health equality
Graduate of the Small Business IDA Program
Rashaan Hornsby, an experienced entrepreneur with three businesses, graduated from United Way's IDA Program in March 2021. Mr. Hornsby enrolled in the IDA program for his most recent business, Health Nutz LLC, which provides customers with a mobile wellness market specializing in fresh organic fruits, vegetables, and snacks. The mission of Health Nutz is to promote health equality for “Food Deserts” such as Camden, New Jersey.
Mr. Hornsby was LAEDA’s first graduate of United Way's IDA Program as well as a graduate of LAEDA’s Entrepreneurial Development Training Program. When asked about the IDA program, Mr. Hornsby stated, “My plan when I found out about the program was to use the funding to grow my business…we are now able to grow outside of just a home business and reach the community to provide a service that Camden needs.”
Using his IDA program funds to invest in a vending cart and supplies, Mr. Hornsby was able to further his reach in the Camden community. The United Way IDA program helped aid Mr. Hornsby in creating a sustainable business model for Health Nutz.
To learn more about the Lubert Individual Development Account (IDA) Program, visit here.