The New Hope Antipoverty Program Essay

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The New Hope Antipoverty Program “If you work, you should not be poor” (Duncan 1). This quote is essentially the theme of the book, Higher Ground: New Hope for the Working Poor and Their Children, as well as the motivation of the founders of the New Hope Antipoverty Program. This experimental program was implemented in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1994. The goal of the program was to help low skilled and low-wage working individuals whom did not receive all the benefits they deserved because of their low incomes. One thousand three hundred and fifty-seven low-income adults, living in the two poorest neighborhoods of that city, volunteered to take part in the study to see how effective this experimental program would be. The participants were all randomly assigned, and half of them would receive the New Hope benefits while the other half served as a control group that would not receive the benefits. These benefits included earning supplements, subsidized childcare, and subsidized health care to anyone who would work weekly, full time (thirty hours per week). If you could not find a job, the program offered community service jobs for up to six months, paying minimum wage (Duncan 3-4, 12). The study lasted for three years and the results were tremendously encouraging. The MDRC concluded in their evaluation that, “Overall, New Hope increased employment and earnings, leading in turn to increased income...and enabling more low-income workers to earn their way out of poverty…New Hope

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