Multnomah Mother’s Trust
The big question / How might we...?
How might we directly impact the Black community in ways that address the systemic harm that has been done to perpetuate the wealth gap between white and Black Americans?
Type (project or consultation):
2021 to present
Process/what we did:
The Multnomah Mothers’ Trust describes recipients of the Department of County Human Services’ Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) program. The MIL partnered with two community-based organizations: Black Parent Initiative and WomenFirst Transition and Referral. These two agencies provided us with 100 participants who were Black mothers in need. The total cohort represents a population highly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and who might not otherwise have access to resources. Implementation and disbursement of funds ($500 per month for each household) began in May 2022.
In November 2022, the MIL initiated a human-centered design process to create a system to help African American women become homeowners. The result was a concept called Finna Act Black (FAB), a suite of services: peer support, one-on-one counseling, down payment assistance, and debt relief, provided by Black women for the benefit of Black women.
Participants in the project have reported that they have been able to reduce debt, pay bills and provide for their children; several participants have been able to put money toward savings. Participants say they are extremely grateful to participate in the program. Results indicate that the impact of the cash supports has produced a gradual upward trend toward economic stability, suggesting both that the program is successful and that additional support is needed to financially stabilize these households.