Evidence from Connecticut and Minnesota
Using data from two random assignment welfare reform experiments, this report contributes insights to efforts to foster economic self-sufficiency in both the assisted housing and the welfare policy arenas.
Lessons from the Dreamkeepers and Angel Fund Emergency Financial Aid Programs
For low-income students, education can be easily derailed by a temporary financial emergency, like the loss of a job or a car repair. This final report offers lessons from two programs created by Lumina Foundation for Education that provide emergency grants or loans to help students at risk of dropping out. Eleven community colleges participated in Dreamkeepers, and 26 tribal colleges or universities participated in Angel Fund.
An evaluation of the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), the state’s welfare waiver program, found that the program produced substantially larger increases in employment and earnings among welfare recipients living in public or subsidized housing than among recipients in private housing. This paper examines several possible reasons that may account for these findings, including differences in characteristics between the two groups of recipients, differences in their proximity to jobs, differences in residential stability, which might aid in the transition to work, and interactions between MFIP's work incentives and the public/subsidized housing rent rules. The evidence, although indirect, suggests that interactions between MFIP rules and the rent rules in public housing helped to produce larger employment impacts for residents in public or subsidized housing.
What Have We Learned, What Are We Learning, and Where Should We Go from Here?
Each year, the more than 600,000 people released from prison face numerous obstacles to successful reentry into society, starting with the challenge of finding stable work. What does existing research say about the effectiveness of work-focused programs for ex-prisoners?