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Hummingbird Indigenous Family Services Implements First US Guaranteed Income Program for Indigenous Communities

Press Release

SEATTLE, Oct. 12, 2023 — AidKit today announced that it has partnered with Washington’s Hummingbird Indigenous Family Services (IFS) to administer payments for the first guaranteed income program in the United States exclusively serving Indigenous communities.

The program, known as The Nest, is providing $1,250 monthly payments to up to 150 Indigenous pregnant people until their child’s third birthday, delivering as much as $45,000 per family. The Nest is set to run for the next five years in King and Pierce counties.

Hummingbird IFS was founded with the mission of healthy Indigenous babies born into healthy Indigenous families supported by healthy Indigenous communities. It primarily provides direct services to families during pregnancy and early childhood. This includes prenatal care, home visiting, labor and birth support, postpartum care, lactation counseling and counseling for abortion, pregnancy loss and family planning. As a community-based organization, all of these services are imbued with the goal of not only providing this essential care but also wrapping families with cultural reclamation and traditional care. This includes language revitalization, providing traditional meals, community building and making regalia.

“Abundance is a traditional cultural value that has been lost due to relocation and genocide,” said Tia Yazzie, Abundance Auntie with Hummingbird Indigenous Family Services. “The Nest supports families in reclaiming abundance for Indigenous families. Our relatives know that they are cherished, supported and entitled to a future filled with health and well-being. By providing guaranteed income, we are telling them that they are enough, that they are valuable by their very nature.”

Indigenous people in the Seattle area experience disproportionately high rates of poverty, housing insecurity, infant mortality and sexual and intimate partner violence. A recent report by the Maternal Mortality Review shows that in Washington State, Native women experience seven times the mortality than that of their non-Hispanic white counterparts. This is not due to any intrinsic qualities of these birthing people, but rather systemic inequities and lack of access to basic social necessities and health care. Through The Nest and its other programs, Hummingbird IFS aims to disrupt this by promoting healing, health and equity for the communities it serves.

“Guaranteed income is transformative not only because it is associated with decreased perinatal mood disorders, increased self-efficacy and improved birth outcomes, but also because it demonstrates an inherent trust and value in communities whose humanity is consistently devalued by mainstream society,” said Camie Goldhammer, Founding Executive Director of Hummingbird IFS. “It’s a testament to the profound love and care we have for our communities that we are able to provide such an impactful program to give financial stability to people at such a critical point in their lives.”

AidKit serves as technology partner for The Nest, a role it has played in other guaranteed income programs such as Cook County Promise, the nation’s largest guaranteed income program, and Rise Up Cambridge, the first citywide program in the United States. AidKit’s direct-aid platform provides mobile-friendly application forms, convenient document upload and an in-app tool for determining tribal association and lineage. AidKit supports a wide range of payment options including debit cards and direct deposit.

“The Nest is a powerful program providing not just life-changing, but generation-changing, support to Indigenous families,” said Brittany Christenson, CEO of AidKit. “AidKit is working to help Hummingbird IFS make running the program manageable and secure so that their team has more time to spend serving their community, not fighting with spreadsheets.”

For more information on The Nest, visit the website at hummingbird-ifs.org.

About AidKit
AidKit is an advanced technology platform for delivering cash assistance and guaranteed income to those who need it most. It works with nonprofits and government organizations to serve diverse populations including the unhoused, the undocumented, and the unbanked. Applicants can register for aid on their mobile devices and receive payments via bank transfer, debit card or virtual card. AidKit balances convenience with security, protecting against fraud while ensuring the highest degree of data protection. AidKit powers some of the nation’s largest direct cash and guaranteed income pilots with tools that reduce administrative burden, increase impact, and protect participants’ personal information.

Media Contact
Kristina Leal
Firebrand Communications for AidKit
415-848-9175
AidKit@firebrand.marketing

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