Growing Strong weaves the challenges of homelessness into the expanding guaranteed income movement in the US and beyond. The program focuses on mothers experiencing homelessness, who account for 90% of Win shelters’ heads of household, 94% of whom are women of color.


To support families in their move out of shelter by providing unconditional cash and voluntary peer support in a program that centers the voices, strength, and knowledge of mothers who have experienced homelessness. 



Direct cash transfer (DCT) 

Growing Strong provides a direct cash transfer to mothers with children under 2 experiencing homelessness living at specific Win shelters. Participants receive $1,417 monthly for a period of 2 years. The cash is unconditional, meaning once they agree to participate in the program, they will begin to receive the money and are free to choose how to spend it.  

Peer support program 

Our certified peer support specialists are mothers who previously experienced homelessness with their children and successfully exited the shelter system into their own homes. Through a mix of 1:1 meetings, group events, and a robust referral network for key services and resources, the peer program will offer emotional, housing, and daily management support, as well as financial education to guide mothers in their journey out of shelter and in planning for the future. 


Vanderbilt University professor Beth Shinn is our Primary Investigator (PI) leading research design, interviews with participants, data collection, analysis, and research results publication. Growing Strong uses data and storytelling to demonstrate that giving mothers cash is effective in helping them move out of shelter, obtain stable long-term housing, and attain other key positive outcomes.