LA County Empower_U Fund

Program Overview

Los Angeles County through its Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) has implemented a LA County Empower_U Fund for Domestic Violence Survivors. The program will award 1000 grants for $2,500 each for a total of $2.5M.


These funds will be awarded to domestic violence survivors to cover relocation expenses, medical bills, and other costs necessary to strengthen their financial independence. The purpose of this program is to utilize small dollar grants to bolster financial security for survivors of domestic violence who have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those from historically underserved and hard-to-reach populations, such as, but not limited to, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), immigrant, and LGBTQIA+ populations.

If you need help with this online application, please email us at or call us at 1-800-819-9785.

Eligibility Requirements

The zip code entered on the application will be verified to be within the LA County boundaries.

Create an account in the FORWARD platform and complete an application. The applications must indicate which CBO listed above you are working with. You must complete all application questions and sign the application to be reviewed for the grant. CLICK HERE 

Your participation in the survey will help us collect anonymous data about the program’s benefits, improve service delivery, and help us advocate for additional funding.

Please be advised that your receipt of a grant award under this program may impact your eligibility for any public benefit you may be receiving currently. For more information regarding any impact to your eligibility, please contact your benefits provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

FORWARD has extensive experience administering assistance programs across the nation. Our portal is easy to use and your information is secure.

Los Angeles County requires that all applicants be receiving case management and wrap around services at one of the approved community-based organizations.

Within your application, you will attest to the county in which you are a resident. This is a question within the application which you will answer to the best of your knowledge. No additional documentation or proof or residence is needed. 

If you do not have a permanent resident you can provide the address of the organization you currently are receiving case management from, shelter, trusted friend and or motel.

Complete the referral request form CLICK HERE. The CBO will be notified that you wish to be screened for their services. 

The CBO that you are working with will assist you in getting updates on your application status. After you submit your application you can also long into your FORWARD account at any time to view the status of your application.

The identifying word is used like a password when you call our customer care center at 1-800-819-9785 to ensure that we are giving information about your file to only you.

All funds are issued on a debit card either with a physical card that you will pick up from the CBO office or an electronic card which will be sent to your CBO. You will receive the electronic card from your case manager in person. You have to pick up your payment in person, it can not be picked up by anyone else. Please refer to the FAQs regarding payment options to learn more about the difference between a physical card and an electronic card. 

All answers will be anonymously collected, and none of your information will be shared with other agencies.

It is very important to Los Angeles County to collect baseline information about program applicants to help create more programs in the future. You will be asked questions within the application, and you will be asked to answer surveys in the future to track program outcomes.

Your participation in the survey will help us collect anonymous data about the program’s benefits, improve service delivery and help us advocate for additional funding.


The application questions are intended to collect information that is true when the application is submitted. You will be able to report how you used the funds in follow-up surveys.

Please call Blackhawk Network services at 1-833-209-9228.

No, you may be asked questions about your preferred language to help us provide the best support for all applicants. You will not be asked your immigration status.

Yes, the FORWARD platform requires an email address in order to set up an account to apply. Please make sure this is a secure email address that only you have access to. Your case manager can help you set up a safe account if you do not have one.

Can I use a trusted person’s email or SMS text/cell number?

Your case manager can help you set up a new and safe email address before you set up your FORWARD account to apply for the grant. Some notifications will come through email, and if we need additional information on your application it is important that we can reach you. Please talk to your case worker about this.

FORWARD Online Application Tutorials

FORWARD Online Application Tutorials

3 Videos

Program Partners

Additional Resources

National Domestic Violence Hotline:


SMS: Text START to 88788

  • Consumer Counseling- We can give you information you need to help you resolve a problem. We can answer questions about purchases, credit, landlord/tenant disputes, car sales, debt, and other consumer issues.


  • Consumer Investigations – We investigate many types of complaints including consumer fraud, real estate fraud, immigration services fraud, identity theft, and elder financial abuse. We review the complaint and work to find a solution to your problem. We can refer cases involving serious offenders to local law-enforcement agencies for review when appropriate.
  • Small Claims – LA-ODR (TurboCourt) offers parties a no-cost service that provides Small Claims Court and Unlawful Detainer litigants an opportunity to explore settlement options before the hearing date.



  • Dispute Resolution –  The California Dispute Resolution Programs Act (DRPA) was signed into law. This law allows counties to fund alternative dispute resolution services from a portion of the filing fees collected for first papers in civil court actions.  
  • Wage Enforcement – Our Wage Enforcement Program works with workers and businesses to enforce L.A. County’s minimum wage ordinance. We accept claims of alleged wage violations from people who work in unincorporated Los Angeles County.


  • Free Tax Preparation Services – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)- The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to individuals who file simple returns and generally make $60,000 a year or less. The program is also available to persons with disabilities and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. 
  • BankOn Program (For the unbanked)– BankOn coalitions are local partnerships between government agencies, financial institutions, and community organizations that work together to improve the financial stability of unbanked and underbanked residents in their communities.
  • Tenant Protections – L.A. County COVID-19 Tenant Protections Resolution which extended certain protections to tenants affected by the pandemic in Los Angeles County. 
  • Foreclosure Prevention – If you are having trouble paying your mortgage or facing foreclosure, DCBA’s foreclosure prevention experts can help you understand the foreclosure process and explore all available options.
  • Immigrant Affairs – The Los Angeles County Office of Immigrant Affairs helps all immigrants learn about available services for them and their families.

FORWARD is administering the LA County Empower_U Fund on behalf of Los Angeles County. 

FORWARD is the leading Integrated Program Administration solution that incorporates all essential components, people and technology into a single streamlined workflow to effectively, securely, and equitably administer critical resources to help communities thrive.