MCEDV has received a renewal grant from The Allstate Foundation that will allow us to continue working alongside New Ventures Maine and four of our member Domestic Violence Resource Centers (DVRCs) to improve responses to survivors of economic abuse.
This is the third grant renewal that The Allstate Foundation has awarded MCEDV to support partnering with New Ventures Maine, a statewide economic development program focused on helping Maine people and families achieve economic self-sufficiency. Through the series of grants, MCEDV member programs have strengthened their skills in financial literacy and New Ventures staff have increased their understanding of how domestic abuse, and particularly financial tactics, impact the people with whom they work.
The new grant will allow MCEDV to provide training for advocates to continue honing those skills, using The Allstate Foundation’s Moving Ahead Curriculum. It also will help continue the successful matched savings account program, which is now available across 75% of the state, allowing survivors with low income to have their contributions to their savings account matched. Survivors who are eligible for the matched savings account program will also complete The Moving Ahead Curriculum. (Want to learn more? Contact your local DVRC.)
“MCEDV and our member programs are thrilled to have been granted to opportunity to continue broadening and deepening the work that we’ve been doing around economic abuse and economic justice,” says MCEDV Community Engagement Coordinator, Samaa Abdurraqib. “Our partnership with New Ventures Maine has allowed us to strengthen connections between two organizations that are invested in empowering survivors. In the coming year, we look forward to supporting more DV advocates in their work with survivors of economic abuse and giving even more survivors access to our matched savings plan program.”
“New Ventures Maine is pleased to continue to partner with MCEDV through the Allstate grant extension that allows us to continue to offer financial literacy services, using Allstate’s Moving Ahead Financial Literacy curriculum, and support savings for survivors through the matched savings program,” says NVME Workforce Development Specialist Suzanne Senechal-Jandreau. “This grant allows us to strengthen our collaboration with DVRCs throughout Maine and increases our opportunity to provide financial education and asset building resources to survivors of domestic violence and assist them in moving towards financial stability and independence.”
In recent months, The Allstate Foundation has demonstrated a strong commitment to providing the kind of assistance needed to address emerging needs. When COVID-19 arrived in Maine, MCEDV was forced to cancel a major economic abuse training; The Allstate Foundation allowed MCEDV to reallocate those grant funds so they could be used by local Domestic Violence Resource Centers to meet the pressing needs of survivors struggling in the pandemic.
In recent years with the support of The Allstate Foundation we have been able to demonstrate that economic abuse is widespread in Maine. A Report on the Impact of Economic Abuse on Survivors in Maine, presented to the legislature on February 2019, reveals the depth of this type of victimization in our state, with survivors from all income brackets reporting widespread efforts to control their money and limit their resources for self-sufficiency. Subsequently, MCEDV helped pass An Act to Provide Relief to Survivors of Economic Abuse, the first of its kind economic abuse bill, which provides structural protections for people experiencing financial tactics.
“The Allstate Foundation has played a critical role in the important strides that Maine has taken in recent years to address economic abuse,” says Abdurraqib. “We are grateful for the opportunity to keep moving forward together.”