Pictured above: Suzanne Massey, VP, Santander Consumer USA Foundation, Don Smith, Chief Technology Officer, Santander Consumer USA
By Sean M. Wood | Contributor
More than $400,000 in grants from the Santander Consumer USA Inc. Foundation support New Friends New Life and the Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support.
Santander Consumer USA Inc. is helping victims of domestic violence find financial freedom and funding an initiative to remove economic barriers for women and teen girls who have been trafficked. The Santander Consumer USA Inc. Foundation’s grants of $250,000 to New Friends New Life, which restores and empowers trafficked and sexually exploited teen girls, women, and their children, and $160,000 to Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support, will deliver program and administrative support to support survivors of abuse and trafficking.
The $250,000 grant to New Friends New Life will provide funding for its Economic Empowerment and Barrier Removal Initiative that addresses the economic and legal barriers facing 250 adult survivors. A portion of the funding will support financial literacy, employment coaching and benchmarked financial services. It will also partially fund the launch of a legal advocacy clinic to create a legal action plan to address barriers to employment.
The $160,000 grant to Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support will provide funds to match the savings that 30 families accumulate before leaving transitional housing. It will also help Genesis clients improve their credit score and start their new lives with some financial security from savings.
“Women everywhere face social, cultural and economic barriers to equality, particularly if they are in high risk or unsafe situations,” said Santander Consumer USA CEO Mahesh Aditya. “These grants support financial empowerment and economic mobility for women whose resources or access to resources may be limited. The missions of New Friends New Life and Genesis Women’s Shelter – which includes providing hope and opportunity for women and children who have been abused and exploited – is critically important and timely, and we are pleased to support this transformative work.”
“Trafficking survivors often face significant roadblocks that prevent them from finding conventional employment, which is vital to achieving economic stability,” said New Friends New Life CEO Bianca Davis.
We are so grateful for this transformative grant from the Santander Consumer USA Foundation which strategically clears the path forward for survivors, giving them the opportunity to truly be free from the exploitation and abuse of their past.
“The women who come to us are literally fighting for their lives,” said Jan Edgar Langbein, CEO of Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support. “We don’t just provide them shelter from their abusers. Our mission is to help them become self-sufficient and help put them on a path to a safer, more secure future. That is easier to do with the help of organizations like the Santander Consumer USA Foundation.”
New Friends New Life and Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support are both past grant recipients from the Santander Consumer USA Inc. Foundation.
About Santander Consumer USA
Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SC) (“SC”) is a full-service consumer finance company focused on vehicle finance, third-party servicing and delivering superior service to our more than 3.1 million customers across the full credit spectrum. SC, which began originating retail installment contracts in 1997, had an average managed asset portfolio of approximately $64 billion (for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2021). The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Santander Holdings USA, Inc. and is part of Madrid, Spain-based global banking leader Banco Santander. For more information about Santander Consumer USA, please visit www.santanderconsumerusa.com.
About New Friends New Life
Founded in Dallas, in 1998, New Friends New Life (NFNL) restores and empowers trafficked and sexually exploited teen girls, women and their children, and drives awareness of the issue and its prevalence. By providing access to education, job training, interim financial assistance, mental health, and spiritual support, New Friends New Life helps women and their children overcome backgrounds of abuse, addiction, poverty, and limited opportunities. In 2021, NFNL served 312 members. NFNL also educates the community and works to eradicate the epidemic of human trafficking through advocacy, legislative reform and strategic partnerships that address systemic causes. In 2018, NFNL opened a drop-in Youth Resource Center (YRC) in partnership with the Office of the Governor to serve trafficked and high-risk teen girls. Since its opening, the YRC has served 442 girls. In 2015, NFNL organized its Men’s Advocacy Group to engage men in the fight against sex trafficking and exploitation. For more information, visit http://www.newfriendsnewlife.org
About Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support
Since opening its doors in 1985, Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support has provided safety, shelter and expert counseling services to women and children who have experienced domestic violence. Genesis is committed to removing every roadblock a woman might face on her journey to the abuse-free life she deserves. These life- changing services include an emergency shelter, long-term housing, an award-winning onsite, K-8 school, daycare, access to legal representation and cutting-edge therapeutics. Genesis serves more than 3,700 women and children each year and relies on the generous support of the Dallas community to continue providing these services at no cost to clients. For more information, visit www.genesisshelter.org.