Thousands of working low-income families in our region do everything right to make ends meet, holding
down jobs and providing for their children. Many engage with social service organizations for job training
and financial coaching, to access quality education for themselves and their children and improve their
health. But setbacks such as car repairs, unexpected medical bills or a sudden threat of eviction – all
things that have been compounded by COVID-19 – can knock families off track and wipe out the progress
they’ve worked so hard to make.
FAMILIES SEE BRIGHT FUTURES WITH PROJECT LIFT
Booker Alexzander works full-time at a local pharmaceutical company, supporting his wife and three
children on a salary that could be described as lower middle income.
When his apartment building sold and the new landlord decided to renovate, Alexzander and his family
were evicted, temporarily moving into a hotel during the global pandemic. Fortunately, he was an essential
worker and had steady income, but finding a new apartment was difficult. The apartments he could find
that were big enough for the family cost too much. “The ones that were big enough and we could afford
were in bad neighborhoods,” he said.
He dreamed of a house but didn’t have enough for a down payment. He reached out for help and was
soon connected to Project Lift and Saving Grace Community Church. Project Lift representatives identified
flexible funds to pay for his stay at the hotel so he could save his paychecks toward a down payment.
When he was able to identify a loan at 3.5 percent interest if he could come up with a 3.5 percent down
payment, Project Lift added to what he had saved to help reach the needed amount.
Now, he is a homeowner and his future is bright. He is thankful to the many who helped him in his time
of need, including Project Lift. “Without Project Lift’s help, I would have gone broke staying in hotels,” he
said. “Without Project Lift, I wouldn’t have this home. This is not just our dream come true, it is a beacon
to guide others to the reality of homeownership, faith, and community unity. It is a wonderful joyous
feeling to know we did all this together.”
UNITED WAY AND PROJECT LIFT HELP FAMILIES REMOVE BARRIERS
Project Lift is a public/private partnership that helps families remove barriers to securing sustainable
income and achieving financial stability. Project Lift partners with sponsor agencies that families know
and trust to provide a flexible, tailored, family-driven approach on their path to financial stability. The
program offers critical short-term assistance and support, coaching, workforce development and other
resources and applies learnings from each family’s experience to systemic solutions that support
long-term success for all families.
PROJECT LIFT IN ACTION
Since April 2019, more than 1,000 households enrolled in Project Lift, producing positive results:
- Nearly 1 in 5 participating families reported at least a 20 percent increase in income.
- 45 percent of households had at least two significant barriers removed or support services provided.
- 10 percent of households increased income by at least one Federal Poverty Level interval.
HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS
Families access Project Lift through sponsor organizations, including social service agencies, faith-based
communities and others trained to manage the program and provide regular reporting on participants.
To enroll in Project Lift, families must live in Hamilton County with at least one child in the household and be
working or on a path to employment. Each family agrees to participate in the program for at least one year.
Project Lift uses five strategies to remove barriers and provide ongoing support for families committed to
building a stronger financial foundation. The program leverages both public and private dollars to meet
individual needs so families become financially sustainable.
PROJECT LIFT SPONSOR ORGANIZATIONS
One element contributing to Project Lift’s uniqueness is the diversity of its sponsor organizations, ranging
from large social service organizations to small church congregations:
- Cincinnati Works
- Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency
- Cornerstone Renter Equity
- Easter Seal
- Ekklesia Development Corporation
- Freestore Foodbank
- Grad Cincinnati
- House of Hope Fellowship Church
- Islamic Educational Council
- Madisonville Mission Ministries
- Mercy Neighborhood Ministries
- Mt. Calvary Early Church of God
- New Prospect Baptist Church
- Peoples Church
- Santa Maria Community Services
- Saving Grace Community Church
- Talbert House
- Urban League
- Villages at Roll Hill
- Whitewater Crossing Christian
- Zion Global Ministries
In a thriving community, opportunities exist for all people to grow, connect, and achieve a quality of life that enables them to succeed in all areas. Countless agencies, organizations, and individuals in our community are doing great work in helping families improve their quality of life, and yet, families continue to face seemingly insurmountable barriers to progress. Project LIFT is designed to fill in the gaps and remove some of these pressing barriers that hold families back from thriving.
This is a unique public/private partnership that puts in place efforts to improve the economic self-sufficiency for families in Hamilton County. Project LIFT strives to enable children living in poverty and their parents to access solutions that enable them to escape from poverty.
- Family and individual drive solutions
- Project LIFT will operate on lean administrative costs
- Majority of funds will go directly to individuals through trusted partners and won’t reduce existing United Way provider funding to agencies
- Efforts will maximize public funding
Project Lift is a partnership designed to improve the economic self-sufficiency for families in Hamilton County, Ohio.
TO QUALIFY, PARTICIPANTS MUST:
- Live in Hamilton County, Ohio.
- Be responsible for a child under the age of 18 (physically, financially, legally).
- Be working or on a viable path to employment.
- Agree to work with a sponsor agency for case management.
- Agree to share income, employment, and barrier data for at least one year, preferably three years.
- Have a household income below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information about Project Lift, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
INTERESTED IN APPLYING?
To refer yourself or someone else, please fill out the form below. If we have any questions about your application we will reach out to you. If you do not receive a response in two weeks, please email us at email@example.com.
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