Overview An overview of Family Prosperity

Bridges to Success and Family Independence Initiative were selected as the first two public offerings from the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI), a community-wide effort to help people achieve financial security and prosperity. These offerings are based on the idea of people having a trusted partner that supports them as they work towards achieving goals they set. Both offerings make a commitment to participants for two years.

General Information Join the movement to build successful neighborhoods, one family at a time.

Come and learn how you can improve your financial well-being:

  • Support the way you want it: with a trusted partner, or with a peer group
  • Access to proven, successful approaches that will allow you to fulfill your goals
  • Earn and receive incentives
  • Access to other social and financial resources


A first implementation strategy from:

Bridges to Success Individuals and families working with a partner-navigator to achieve their goals

Contact Information:

  • Contact:

    Shawn Futch

  • Address:

    400 West Ave. Rochester, NY 14611

  • Phone:

    (585) 325-5116

  • Email:


About the Program

Bridges to Success is one of the first initiatives from the Rochester/Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI). The initiative will be evaluated for its effectiveness to improve and expand the program in the future.

Bridges to Success pairs individuals with a partner to help them meet their goals on their way to self-sufficiency.

A few examples of goals that participants can accomplish are:

  • High School equivalency
  • Training
  • Employment/better paying employment
  • Housing goals
  • Child-Centered Goals
  • Budgeting
  • Etc.

What the Program Offers

Bridges to Success offers:

  • A Partner to help navigate systems to meet your personal/family goals and make connections to specialized community resources.
  • A chance to earn and receive monetary Incentives

Eligibility criteria

  • Eligibility is now open to ALL neighborhoods in Rochester!
  • Income Eligibility
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Because mentors are assigned on a neighborhood basis, where you live will be discussed when we schedule an appointment for services.
  • US Citizen or Permanent Resident

Program Cost and Selection Process

For eligible participants, there is no program cost. Eligible participants will be selected by lottery to enroll in the Bridges to Success program. Those not selected will be connected to alternate services.

Intake Process

The Bridges to Success Program is currently at capacity, and not enrolling new participants at this time. To add your name to our list for the future or for more information contact Shawn Futch directly.

Family Independ­ence Initiative Transforming Communities, One Family at a Time.

Contact Information:

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 people with low-income 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

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:

  • A laptop or tablet
  • $500 for the first 6 months of participation
  • A lending circle
  • 0 to low interest loans
  • Matched savings
  • Money management supports
  • And other social and financial resources

Eligibility Criteria

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Able to make two year commitment to your group and to FII
  • Under 200 % poverty guideline (For example, a family of 4 earning less than $4,050 a month or $48,600 a year.)
  • Because family groups are assigned on a neighborhood basis, where you live will be considered as we connect you.
  • Currently working or able to work

Program Cost and Selection Process

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

Intake Process

The FII Rochester Program is currently at capacity, and not enrolling new family groups at this time. To add your name to our list for the future or for more information contact Nikki Haynesworth directly or fill out the contact form.

To sign up or for more information contact Nikki Haynesworth directly.

Meet Our Team

Nikki Haynesworth

Nikki Haynesworth, our Program Manager, is a licensed mental health counselor from Rochester. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in African and African-American Studies from Brockport College, and a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from St. John Fisher. Most recently, Nikki worked with St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center’s Women on the Move Program and the Structural Racism Initiative, both in program coordinator positions. Nikki became a yoga instructor this past spring, and is working with leaders and teachers in the yoga community to learn how she can support efforts to open the scope of diversity in yoga practices. She enjoys spending time watching her 12 year old son play basketball and feels lucky when her 21 year old daughter needs to do laundry, “because it seems like that is when she is back at home for the longest stretch and we get to hang together!”

Victoria Otis

Victoria Otis started working for FII in June 2018 as our Program Coordinator. She is a recent RIT graduated who studied sociology, deaf studies, psychology and criminal justice. Originally from the Boston area, she has worked for Family Equality Council, a non-profit organization serving and advocating for LGBTQ families. Vicki has a passion for helping families achieve their fullest potential and FII fuels that passion. Her favorite aspect of FII are the monthly group meetings. At family group meetings, she takes note of common themes and finds resources to support any questions families may

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A quick overview of Catholic Family Center

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Providing the most vulnerable with hope