Pilot Program Launched To Help 400 Low-Income Families

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A bipartisan effort is underway to help hundreds of Massachusetts families break the cycle of dependency that keeps them under public assistance.

The Family Independence Initiative of Greater Boston announced Monday that it will enroll 400 families on public assistance in Boston and Cambridge into the Trust and Invest Collaborative.

It's a three-year pilot program where the families will receive up to $3,200, which they'll use to invest in ways meant to help them achieve a better, more financially-independent life.

Jeff McCue, Director of the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance, said the program will help families build a network to help them live above the poverty line.

"A key component to this is the fact that clients can lean on each other and be able to bring forward the kinds of solutions that will be lasting to them in being able to move from their current situation on benefits to an area where they can be more self-sufficient for themselves and their families," McCue said.

He said the families will earn and keep more money, and be able to keep more of the secure assets necessary for them to take the next steps in their lives.

Each family's progress will be tracked over a period of three years by a team of evaluators from Harvard Business School, so successes can be duplicated by others.

Some of the major funders of the project are Google, the Boston Children's Hospital, Cambridge Community Foundation, and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

To get more information on this pilot program, visit fii.org.

(Photo: William Goodwin, FII Family Partner and Narrative Shifter Fellow/FII YouTube screenshot)

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WBZ NewsRadio's Mike Macklin (@mikemacklinwbz) reports

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