Transforming the Social Safety Net into a Trampoline

There are numerous programs offered by the government that provide a safety net for the poorest and most vulnerable. While these programs have helped millions of individuals, sometimes those served get caught up in them—never developing the skills or capacity to move past the need—enrolling in them generation after generation.

At Fedcap, we have spent a great deal of time thinking through and operationalizing a programmatic structure that seeks to bolster the social safety net in order to create a trampoline—where people when served well, in a timely manner with the right intensity of interventions, can soar. We work hard to first understand and then build on the inherent skills and aspirations of every individual we serve. We teach critical hard and soft work skills. We assist those served in building their network of support. We teach financial literacy and work in partnerships with banks to help establish savings accounts. We appropriately reduce support over time. We believe in people’s ability to work and communicate that ability through every interaction.

Across the country we are working to help people receiving government benefits to find jobs in high growth sectors where they have a very good chance of climbing the career ladder. We are helping them imagine a life where they can feed their families, buy a home, send their children to college and retire in confidence. That is the goal of our work—to move past food insecurity, home insecurity and job insecurity to a life where individuals develop the lifelong skills and attitudes to achieve long term economic well-being.

And equally important we are committed to changing the actual service systems– from the federal government down– so that there is an institutionalized approach to creating a system that promotes and expects, resilience, opportunity and upward mobility.