Family Independence Initiative

Rochester, NY

Family Independence Initiative - Rochester

About the Program

Since 2001, FII has been observing and documenting the lives of low-income families. We have seen that the barriers to economic and social mobility for low-income families are not found within the families themselves, but instead are a set of assumptions that characterize low-income people as either lazy or helpless victims who need professional intervention.

These perceptions determine the design of policies and practices meant to impact these families. As a result, services and resources are structured in ways that reinforce the perception of low-income families as powerless, broken, and lacking in direction, self-determination, and community support. FII is a national approach working with families to change the narrative around low-income families in our country by showing that when low-income families work together, determine their own course for progress, and gain access to small amounts of capital, they make amazing progress.

FII Model

photo from FII's demonstration site in Boston

FII puts families at the center of all we do, following their lead and relying on their guidance. We trust and invest in low-income families as well as the solutions they discover on their own. FII families meet and come together in their neighborhoods to solve the problems that keep them from leading more economically secure lives. We track the progress of individual families and use that data to identify and invest in the solutions that are working for them.

What the Program Offers

We ask families to partner with us, trust us with the information they provide through monthly journals, and join us in debunking the myths about low-income communities. Families join FII in a group of 6-8 other families from their community. FII families make their own choices on how to improve their lives. They make a 2-year commitment to one another by meeting and journaling monthly. In return, we unlock resources in FII’s Resource Hub based on the data they provide accelerating their mobility.

Some of the Resources Include:

Eligibility Criteria

Program Cost

FII is offered free of charge to participants. The only cost is your time and initiative.

Intake Process

To sign up or for more information contact Loriane Ngarambe directly or fill out the contact form.

Phone: 585-224-2605 / 585-953-0189


Family Independence Initiative National Website

Family Group Nomination Form


Program Staff

  • Ron Rizzo - Family Prosperity Director
  • Loriane Ngarambe - Family Independence Initiative Manager


Contact Information

145 Parsells Ave
Rochester, NY 14609

P: (585) 224-2605