New York Community Trust Awards Assistant Professor Robert Hawkins Grant For Workforce Development Program

The New York Community Trust has awarded Robert Hawkins, the McSilver Assistant Professor in Poverty Studies, a $78,000 grant to implement a workforce development program for low-income victims of domestic violence. The award supports Hawkins' work under NYU Silver's McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research.

The Economic and Social Empowerment Project will work with up to 100 low-income women at four New York City shelters to help them achieve economic self-sufficiency. The intervention will equip participants with the tools and resources for sustainable employment by addressing job readiness skills and social capital development, psychological development, and the emotional well-being of women who have suffered severe physical and psychological trauma. Additionally, Hawkins will work to evaluate the model and test it for wider dissemination.

"I am excited that this project is a true collaboration with members of the community and people working with clients on a daily basis. We are trying to help people develop the skills to find and retain jobs by looking at the whole person: their skills, their psychological well-being, and their potential to build positive social capital," said Hawkins. "Poverty is a complicated state of being that goes beyond not having enough money or a job. It takes a complex model to battle it. We think that this project places us on the right path."

Hawkins' expertise is in the areas of family and children's policy analysis, welfare and poverty, program evaluation, quantitative and qualitative methods, and survey design and implementation. 

"The Economic and Social Empowerment Project embodies the philosophy of the McSilver Institute," said Mary McKay, the Institute's director. "By working collaboratively with researchers, service providers, community members, and children and families living in poverty, successful solutions and interventions can be developed that bring real results and improve lives."

The McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research was founded in 2007 with the purpose of better understanding poverty in New York City and developing practices to address it. The Institute studies current poverty-related issues and programs, pilots interventions in agencies throughout the city, and serves as a supportive resource and change agent for agencies working to address poverty in New York City.