Verizon Foundation Funds Financial Empowerment Program
$50,000 Grant Provides Critical Resources for Survivors
The Verizon Foundation awarded $50,000 to support WEAVE’s Financial Empowerment program. The funds will support at least 100 victims of domestic violence who experienced financial abuse. The funding is critical to addressing an ongoing need. Financial abuse is the most pervasive abuse experienced by victims of domestic violence with 91% of victims accessing counseling and legal assistance indicating financial abuse and 100% of victims requiring emergency shelter and transitional housing experiencing financial abuse.
The funding will provide quarterly Financial Empowerment workshops that address financial literacy and set a foundation for future success including assisting budgeting, understanding credit, and saving. WEAVE is the only domestic violence agency in the nation authorized to obtain credit reports on behalf of victims. Through this process, WEAVE assists victims in understanding their credit report, identifying credit illegally obtained by the abuser, and outstanding debt that impact a victim’s ability to secure housing or employment. Trained Advocates and volunteer mentors assist victims in establishing payment plans for outstanding debt and challenging illegally obtained credit. Advocates and volunteer mentors support survivors in creating reasonable monthly budgets, pursuing employment that is sufficient to support their families, and creating savings plans for long-term sustainability.
Additionally, the project will support the WEAVE to Work Program that provides emergency clothing, interview attire, and work attire for victims and WEAVE’s volunteer program. WEAVE leverages 9,000 to 11,000 hours of volunteer time to meet its goals each years. Volunteers who work directly with survivors complete a state mandated 68 hour Peer Counselor Training and assist by answering the 24/7 Support & Information Line, serve as Advocates on the 24/7 Sexual Assault Response Team, and assist with children’s activities at the Safehouse. Supervised MFT Interns provide counseling services in exchange for licensure hours. Volunteers also assist with WEAVE’s fundraising and community outreach efforts throughout the year. The in-kind value of volunteer services exceeds $250,000 each year.
WEAVE greatly appreciates the support of the Verizon Foundation in filling a critical need and ensuring comprehensive services are available to victims. Government grants and contracts account for only 60% of WEAVE’s annual budget. Private grants from funders like Verizon Foundation are essential to meeting the growing demand for services.