Our Mission: Ariva’s mission is to empower low-wealth New Yorkers with effective tools and resources so they can make informed financial decisions and achieve economic stability.
Our History: Ariva was founded in 2003 to respond to the financial services and access needs of limited-income and low-wealth individuals in the South Bronx. We have since expanded to other boroughs, providing free on-site financial counseling and tax preparation services in underserved communities and to underserved populations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, in addition to our original programs in the Bronx. We continue to this day to have a special focus on serving the South Bronx, where we are headquartered.
Ariva is committed to the principle that New York City neighborhoods should not be left vulnerable to predatory financial services simply because they are poor or because of the perception that it is less profitable to do business in lower income communities. Ariva works to promote innovation, to provide access, and to inspire hope in low and moderate income New Yorkers in under-banked communities so that they can successfully move from poverty to greater economic stability.
Ariva has grown from a small free income tax preparation program serving a few hundred clients in 2003 to today providing free, comprehensive financial capabilities services to more than 12,000 New Yorkers each year. Our services include financial education and counseling, free tax preparation through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, asset building support and assistance with public benefits access.
Who We Serve: 95% of Ariva’s clients are low- to moderate-income. Based on information collected in our tax program in 2016, 47% of Ariva’s clients have an adjusted gross income of less than $10,000; 88% earn less than $30,000. Our clients’ average AGI is $14,070.00.
Our client base is also racially and ethnically diverse, breaking out as follows:
• African American: 35%
• Hispanic: 58%
• White 3%
• Asian 1%
• Other: 3%
Since Ariva’s core mission is to strengthen the economic stability of low-income people and communities, our programs operate in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods- communities such as Mott Haven, Hunts Point, Soundview & Morrisania in the South Bronx and East New York in Brooklyn. The Highbridge community of the South Bronx, where Ariva is headquartered, is located in the poorest Congressional District in the country; it has a poverty rate of 39%.
In addition to focusing our services on underserved neighborhoods, Ariva also targets its programs to underserved individuals in communities throughout the City. We partner with social service providers in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn to deliver our tax services and financial counseling programs to special populations including veterans, domestic violence survivors and formerly homeless and at-risk individuals. We operate a financial counseling and tax program out of the Mexican Consulate of NYC and we also operate a program City-wide serving low-income immigrant women micro entrepreneurs
For more information on our programs, visit: Our Programs and Services