Updated: Mar 9
Paul Haeder is a local author who is working with a program called Family Independence Initiative or FII. FII and families from across the nation are building a movement to change the way our country perceives and invests in low-income families. As they work for economic inclusion and recognition of their efforts towards economic and social mobility, the program uses their data and stories as evidence to change the policies and practices that are barriers to their success.
50% of families that move above the poverty line fall back under within 5 years. The Pew Charitable Trusts surveyed households in 2015 and found that just six in 10 households had enough liquid assets to cover the typical household’s financial shock cost of $2,000 these can include such things as a job layoff, health crisis, or loss of a vehicle. Families that have worked hard to escape poverty and build their assets, when faced with a financial shock, are forced to dissolve those assets before qualifying for safety net benefits — returning them to poverty and a position of need.
Through this program Paul is reaching out to local families in Lincoln County to tell their story and get paid for it. It is that simple! You sign up with a name and password, you fill in basic information about yourself and your family such as work, activities and volunteer work, debt etc. The main concept is to find out how low to middle income families connect and help each other, their support systems. And they are paying you for the information that you provide. "It is all completely confidential and the information is used to see how low income families can utilize resources to help them move out of poverty.
The goal Haeder said is to connect with 450 households in Lincoln County to do a 12-month pilot project. To register Paul sends out an email to establish a user name and password on the Up Together site. Users create their account fill in their journal information and then they get paid through a secure program by direct deposit through Bill.com. They hope to learn how people utilize their social networks to help them out in time of need, and what resources are available to people. The journals take about 15-minutes or less a month and you get paid for your stories.
Haeder said "We would like to see more families from Lincoln County participate in this program and we are willing to pay them to do so". I, Kiera Morgan, am personally taking part in this program and find that it is easy and hope that the information provided will benefit those in need in Lincoln County. If you would like more information or would like to participate in this program you can contact Paul Haeder at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just be sure to let him know you heard about the program here on our site.