Jewish Family Service of Western Mass Receives $ 250,000 Annual IDA Grant Over Four Years to Promote Refugee Economic Independence



Springfield – Jewish Family Service of Western Mass, in partnership with HIAS, has received an IDA (Individual Development Accounts) grant of $ 250,000 per year over four years from the US Department of Health and Human Services. The IDA program is a savings match program that helps individuals and families save for an asset that will increase their financial independence. refugees can save for one of four assets: starting or sustaining a business, buying a vehicle to get and keeping jobs and education, raising capital to buy a house, or investing in post-secondary education or training. Individuals can save up to $ 2,000 and households can save up to $ 4,000 and see their savings equal dollar for dollar. The IDA program offers asset-specific training, financial literacy classes, and technical assistance to increase participants’ ability to increase self-reliance, become financially stable, and meet their savings goals.

Economic independence is the biggest challenge facing refugees in the United States. with housing, transport, health care, language acquisition and health. The challenge of economic integration is underscored by the limited access to credit, banking and networks that can promote economic independence.

By enrolling participants in IDA, HIAS and JFSWM will help refugees, establish savings accounts, create regular savings habits, promote participation in the financial banking system, increase knowledge on financial topics, including the development of ” a family budget, building and maintaining credit and savings, acquiring assets to build up individual, family and community resources, advancing educational opportunities, buying houses, accessing capital for the development of microenterprises and foster community economic development where historically marginalized people now have access to resources and opportunities.


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