According to Census Bureau data, 75% of low-income families move above the federal poverty line within four years, but half the households slip back under within five years. The Family Independence Initiative is a national organization that addresses this challenge using their UpTogether technology platform to make cash transfers to families within small groups that helps leverage social capital. We partnered with FII to expand their work into San Antonio. Today, FII is supported by the City of San Antonio and a range of local funders, including Methodist Health Ministries and the San Antonio Area Foundation, in addition to support from Google.org.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 53% of people struggling with anxiety, depression, and other issues associated with mental wellness will reach out to a pastor for help rather than to a psychiatrist or a doctor. Our first effort partnered with the Meadows Foundation to explore the role of faith-based organizations in mental health in San Antonio. Then, in the fall of 2018, the Foundation partnered with 13 San Antonio-area Christian congregations and a research team at the University of Texas-San Antonio to study how churches respond to members of their congregations who might be experiencing mental health problems.