Individual Development Account (IDA) Program

Program Description

An IDA is a matched savings account that provides low-income people with the opportunity to build assets that will help them improve their economic stability and achieve self-sufficiency. Under the IDA program, CAASNM provides a savings match for first time home buyers, individuals trying to start or expand a business, or wanting to pursue their post-secondary education. The funds are deposited into a custodial savings account at a partner financial institution. The maximum amount of participants’ savings CAASNM will match is $1,000 ($500 for special projects). CAASNM’s IDA program is often tied to services and training programs that help participants build or enhance their financial skills.

Eligibility Requirements

1) The saver participating in the program must have earned income
2) Total household net worth has to be less than $10,000
3) Total household income must be 200% or less the federal poverty level
4) Upon enrollment, IDA clients are required to complete 20 hours of financial literacy, and complete an asset plan
5) IDA clients have to be at least18 years old to participate.
6) Under especial circumstances, IDA participants do not have to be 18 years old. For instance, under the high school AFI grant (2012-2017), IDA candidates must be low-income high school juniors and incoming seniors residing in rural Doña Ana County (but also meet the requirements above).

Required Documentation
1) Some form of identification and verification of age( New Mexico identification card, driver’s license, passport, birth certificate)
2) Verification of citizenship (social security card, birth certificate, US Passport, tribal registration card)
3) Verification of New Mexico residency (utility bill, tribal registration card, voter registration card, rental/lease agreement, social services statement)
4) Verification of entire household earned income
• Most recent IRS tax returns
• Three (3) months of employment pay stubs for all household members
• Self-employment tax forms, NM State CRS filings (only for business owners or self-employed individuals)
• Personal declaration of income into the household, with contact information (only for business owners or self-employed individuals)
• Letter from employer stating number of hours worked and salary paid
5) Household net worth verification
• Most recent checking and/or savings account statements
• Investments (real estate, 401K, stocks, IRA, others)
• Proof of debt (outstanding loans and bills, credit card outstanding balances)

Areas Served:

        • Doña Ana County

        • Hidalgo County

        • Luna County

        • Sierra County

        • Grant County

Muhammad came from Pakistan and found the culture challenging as well as financially, caring for older parents and raising his children. CAASNM’s family financial empowerment program helped him save for college with an IDA and also learn about finances and saving so he could buy a home and pay for his board exams. He is now a 4th year medical student with one semester left. “CAASNM staff were very helpful and like family to me. They helped me get through their program very easily.”

Muhammad's Story

Within the classroom with Kids Can Youth Entrepreneur Program, I have seen tremendous results in my school population. My classroom consists of students with disabilities, mainly Autism, as our school is an Autism Satellite School. Students with disabilities are often overlooked and Kids Can is constructed in such a way that all students can gain life skills for their future. Our school is also considered a Title I school, with more than 70% of our population economically disadvantaged. These skills are the steppingstones to giving students the background of budgeting and business needed to overcome poverty. I give high regard to Kids Can and the amazing things it is doing for this community.

Kaitlin's story

A single mother of 3-year-old twins became a client of Thriving Families in 2019, referred by her physician. She was triaged to several community programs, including Aprendamos Early Intervention and HeadStart. She participated in an IDA program at CAASNM to save for education and which also improved her credit score. Her family became COVID-affected and was provided emergency assistance for utilities when she fell behind. Thriving Families continued its whole family approach to assist Bernice manage her family and also achieve her educational goals; she graduated with a degree in physiology from NMSU and will continue to her Master’s Degree.

Bernice’s Story

Alana is a 24-year old single mother of a 4-year old also caring for a disabled mother. She lives in Deming, Luna County, but is facing eviction due to the high cost of her housing. Worse, her family feels unsafe due to continual verbal abuse and harassment.

Alana contacted the CAASNM offices where she was referred to the housing stability team. One of the CAASNM housing navigators started to explore alternate options in Deming,
which is a tight housing market. She interviewed previous landlords that she had worked with on the program, until finding one with a 2+ bedroom lower-rent apartment. She also worked to reassure the landlord about Alana and facilitated their meeting.

Finally, Alana was able to sign a lease and move in, with help finding furnishings.

Alana's story

Thank you so much for empowering our family through the Individual Development Account award. We have increased our credit score, paid off our car and bought a home with an office for our business. Thank you for taking a chance on us and we look forward to updating you on our business ventures.

Melissa's Story

Rosa was living Deming, Luna County in a very abusive home with her aunt and uncle. 73; she had to leave but found herself homeless and was living in a motel. She came to the attention of Cece, a housing navigator with CAASNM’s housing stability program, at the local senior center who helped her apply for HUD and other programs. She was assisted with her HRSA application and was awarded three months of rent. She was also helped apply for a receive New Mexico stimulus and WIC benefits. Now, she is living in a new senior apartment with caring landlords and is ready to start her new life, even receiving a box of fruits and vegetables from WIC.

“The Community Action Agency has truly been a Godsend in my life. I was about to turn 73, in dire need, sick, homeless, without resources, depressed, unable to think or prioritize and terribly afraid. Once I contacted CAASNM, they never gave up on me. Because of CAASNM’s incredible humanity, dogged persistence and follow through, I now have an apartment, a home of my own, a sanctuary. I am no longer living in terror, anxiety, crying everyday with invading thoughts of suicide. Today my depression and ulcerative colitis are under control because I can keep medical appointments. My thinking is clearer now. CAASNM has restored my sense of self-worth and given me hope for a future where I might find purpose in service to others in need as I once was. How else can I ever express my thanks and gratitude for the quiet noble work CAASNM does every day?”

Rosa's story

Arabella developed “Shrinky Chains” as her business building project with Kids Can Youth Entrepreneur program, starting in 6th grade. She was recently a community spotlight on local radio stations. She makes keychains and wine glass charms, from symbols of the Southwest to sports teams. She learned marketing and public speaking, as well as marketing, financial management, and logistics.

Her experiences with Kids Can have also given her confidence and independence, which she says have made her more ready to succeed in college.

Arabella's story

Annie is a participant in CAASNM’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) from Truth or Consequences.  She is a grandmother helping raise grandchildren and she also cares for her sick mother. Annie is very thankful for this program because it allows her to care for her mom and grandchildren. She has three grandchildren who live with her and she takes care of four grandchildren that don’t. The program reimburses her for nutritious food for all seven children in addition to her disabled mom.

Annie is a very special lady and has gone through a lot. She has been doing childcare for a long time. She cared for her sick father and then her husband before they passed away and now she is caring for her mom. She took a part time job at night with Walmart in-order to buy Christmas presents for of all her grandchildren, her brother and 18 year old grandson who stays to look after the children and Annie’s mom while she is working. She is a true success because she perseveres with all of her hardships, but with a little help from CAASNM.

Annie’s Story, Nutritious food for the family

Jessica came to the first day of Kids Can Business Builders determined to do it alone. Our instructors could see no smile or willingness to join a group. As a group we shared what our hobbies are and what we do when we get home. Jessica loves to play video games all by herself after-school. Her favorite video game has a Llama character and is very popular with her peers. She felt like products with a llama would sell well at a Kids Can pop-up market. Then another young lady talked about how much she likes pink flamingos. They grouped their ideas together and created hand-woven “Flamas” and the “Flamaverse” (flamingos and llama together).  A new friendship formed and Jessica’s perspective of group work has changed. She is happier and more willing to contribute her ideas in class discussion on business topics and we can see these two girls talking and laughing, eating after-school snack together.

Jessica's Story

I’ve really enjoyed all of Kids Can, as it has taught me so many valuable skills, from marketing to public speaking and online sales. I always enjoy talking with customers and learning how to read people to find a product they would like. The program has helped me understand people in other aspects of my life, too, and I feel confident. My business has always been a way for me to be creative and try new things

Arabella is now matriculating to Caltech as a chemical engineering student